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Full text of "Tennessee sketches"

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Tennessee Sketches 



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Te n n e s s e e 
Sketches 



BY 

LOUISA PRESTON LOONEY 



CHICAGO 

A. C. McCLURG & CO. 

1901 



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Copyright 

By a. C. McCLURG & CO. 

A. D. 1901 



Digitized by CjOOQIC 



TO MY BELOVED FATHER 

ROBERT FAIN LOONEY 

"THESE TO HIS MEMORY— SINCE HE HELD THEM 

DEAR — I DEDICATE, I CONSECRATE 

WITH TEARS." 



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AL 23S1 -^. (o 



NAirVAIID COUEGE UtIAiY 

BCQUcaroF 

WINWAIO PRESCOn 
JANUARY 27, 1933 



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**TAt IsnJ of pun snd balmy air^ 
Of ttreoMS to cUar mnd thei to fair ^ 
Of mouMtaius grand and fountaintfrtt^ 
The lonely land of Tennettei I 
Tkefmrett of the fair we tee^ 
Tkt hraveti of the brave have we^ 
Tkefreett of the noble free ^ 
In battU'tcarred old Tennessee.^* 

Song, "Old Tbnnbssbb," By A. J. Holt. 



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CONTENTS 

PAGB 

The Member from Tennessee - - 13 

In the Face of the Quarantine - 151 

Aftermath of the Old Regime - - 169 

Jared Kerr's Children - - 203 

Joe's Last Testament - - - - 225 

Places of Power - - - - 237 

Gray Farm Folk - - - - 271 



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THE MEMBER FROM 

TENNESSEE 



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THE MEMBER FROM 
TENNESSEE 

I 

The morning of the Convention dawned 
bright and hot ; the mercury quickly ran up into 
the eighties, and seemingly had just begun 
active service. At an early hour the dele- 
gates came into the hall, talking in loud 
voices, and fanning vigorously with broad- 
brimmed straw hats. The meeting was called 
to order at eleven o'clock, and Mr. Felton ar- 
rived by the noonday train. 

**I wish I had come a week ago,'* he said to 
Charley Weston, his private secretary, as they 
left the car together. *'I owed it to my 
friends ; however, I suppose the delegates are 
all right." 

**I am sure of it," Weston replied. A smile 
passed over his face. *'The country demands 
your return. ' ' 

Mr. Felton looked up sharply, but he caught 
Weston's eye, and they both laughed. 

"Then the voice must be heard," the con- 
13 



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1 4 EtnntMtt SbltttcfftB 

gressman declared, seating himself in the omni- 
bus that was to take them to the hotel. 

**It is all going your way at the Convention, 
Mr. Felton; they was speechifying when I 
left," Uncle Tommie, the driver, said by way 
of welcome. 

Mr. Felton made a pleased assent. 

**Why didn't ye let the boys know ye was a 
coming, they'd have met ye with a band," 
the man added heartily, and they rumbled 
rapidly into the town. 

But Mr. Felton was not reassured; one 
thing had troubled him all the way from 
Washington — Rans was in the Convention. 
Why had his friends permitted this man to be 
named as a delegate? He knew it was easy 
to defeat the will of the people, and that an 
organized opposition could snap its fingers 
in the face of the most popular candidate. 

In middle Tennessee, in the heart of the 
Blue Grass Region, lived Mr. Felton and Mr. 
Rans. These men had been enemies from 
boyhood, enemies with a force that almost 
became to them a faith. This old hate was 
something they could go back to, it was some- 
thing they were sure of in their lives. 

Rans was short and rotund, a physical 
condition suggesting good nature; Felton 
was tall and angular, bushy brows stood above 



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C^e Mtmin from ^tnntMtt 15 

his fierce eyes, he seemed determined, and 
cross-grained. These two were meant to be 
friends — the parallelism in their ancestry ran 
back into the old North State, where their 
grandfathers, Presbyterian to the core, fought 
side by side in the war of the Revolution ; and, 
after peace was declared, the old comrades 
journeyed together to the new country that 
was called Tennessee. The Felton was richer 
than the Rans, and divided with him his liv- 
ing; the Rans was physically stronger, abler 
to cope with a pioneer emergency, and so 
balanced the scale of mutual benefit. 

But one generation is not an earnest of the 
other, either in friendship or finance, for the 
representative of the Rans' name now led in 
the race for wealth, and the descendant of the 
Felton family desired above all else place and 
power. The latter was by profession a law- 
yer, by inclination a politician. In this he had 
been fairly successful, having served many 
terms in the state legislature, and was now for 
the third time asking a re-election to the Con- 
gress of the United States. 

The Convention got to work very deliber- 
ately ; it saw no reason to hurry ; its utterances 
were final, a nomination being equivalent to 
an election. The preliminaries passed off 
quietly enough, and good fellowship and good 



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i6 ll^tnntnntt Sftrtcjeg 

will seemed to prevail. The country dele- 
gates, however, insisted upon naming the per- 
manent chairman; they said, **that it was time 
they had some recognition." Feeling secure, 
and at the same time being anxious to appear 
generous, the Felton men conceded this point, 
and the county candidate. Esquire Strong, was 
elected, practically without opposition. Later 
it became known that Strong was the supporter 
of Clarke, Felton's only opponent for the nomi- 
nation. So far nothing had transpired to indi- 
cate anything but perfect harmony. 

Resolutions commending the party platform 
had been read and enthusiastically indorsed. 
These called forth considerable speech making 
from the leaders which, as the day was young, 
did not weary the crowd, and put the orators 
themselves in an excellently good humor. 
Reports from the various committees came in 
without delay. A contest in one of the upper 
counties, which brought two delegations to the 
Convention, both claiming to be regulars, was 
settled by dividing the vote equally between 
the contestants. The time had now arrived 
for the nominations, and a greater, more con- 
centrated earnestness and interest was felt 
over the house. 

The mercury still kept up its furious pace, 
and an insistent July sun looked relentlessly 



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C^e fiSitmttt from Cenne00ee 17 

in on the assemblage that was making a con- 
gressman. Buckets of ice water were placed 
on stands in different parts of the hall, and 
palm leaf fans were passed to all the delegates, 
these last with the ** Compliments of Archibald 
Rans." This gentleman seemed ubiquitous 
and tireless, he trotted around in every direc- 
tion, a fan in one hand, a handkerchief, with 
which he mopped the perspiration from his 
face, in the other. He did not talk much, but 
made his presence felt wherever he went. 

Suddenly Mr. Felton's friends were aroused ; 
they began to suspect a plot, then they be- 
came sure of one ; their fault had been over- 
confidence. They hurried from one delega- 
tion to another; they argued, quarreled, and 
in low tones uttered threats. But their efforts 
were apparently without avail. 

The first ballot was counted, and Mr. Fel- 
ton's vote fell thirty short of a nomination. 
The next ballot showed no change ; the third 
was taken with like result, the Felton men 
bending all their energies to hold his major- 
ity. On the fourth ballot he gained five votes, 
and they shouted wildly; on the fifth he still 
gained ; on the sixth he gained ten more ; the 
excitement was now intense. The seventh 
was taken amid great confusion, and Felton's 
vote fell back to that of the first ballot. On 



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i8 EtnntMn Sbtttt^B 

the eighth he lost; on the ninth he lost; and 
then he had less than a majority of the Con- 
vention. 

The Felton men, who had been reassured by 
the gain in votes, now were nonplussed, they 
could not tell what was holding the Conven- 
tion back. Clarke was evidently a cat's paw — 
the opposition did not want him. Could it be, 
they questioned among themselves, their can- 
didate's speech on the monetary bill pending 
in the House? Possibly, and if so, some con- 
cessions might be made. A committee was 
hurried to the hotel to wait upon the congress- 
man, but he positively declined, as he said, 
**to sell his convictions for office." **Let 
them defeat me," he cried, indigtiantly, "they 
have turned down many a better man." 

Just as the tenth ballot was announced, Mr. 
Felton entered the hall. After the applause 
his entrance created had subsided, he arose 
and withdrew his name from before the Con- 
vention. 

'*When one comes to lay down a trust," he 
said, **a review of the course he has pursued 
inevitably passes before him — it has already 
pa.ssed before this body. What I have done, 
what I have left undone," speaking directly 
to the delegates, **is as familiar to you as to 
me; through it all I have faithfully sought 



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Cj^e fiSitmtn from ^tnntBBtt 19 

your good, only dominated by the good of the 
whole party. We have, at times, differed upon 
great questions before the country. I have 
regretted this, but I believed then, and I 
believe now that when you have gone deeper 
into the subject you will agree with me. At 
any rate, one must stand by his honest con^ 
victions no matter at what personal cost. 
You, fellow citizens, can not misunderstand 
me. You know me too well to think that I 
could change for any office within your gift 
my lifelong opinion of national policy and 
personal right. I thank you for the honors, 
beyond my deserts, you have already conferred 
upon me. I thank my friends — the old guard 
— ^who so nobly stand by me now, and I beg 
to state that my name is no longer before the 
Convention." 

He sat down ; the delegates seemed to rise 
as one man, they gathered around him ; they 
wrung his hand, the hall was filled with shouts 
of his name, they refused to accept his with- 
drawal, and he left the house followed by a 
crowd of his admirers. 

**It is too late now," he said to one of them 
as together they entered the hotel; **had I 
come earlier I could have managed it, but 
Rans is in the Convention, and has a strong 
pull on some of the delegates. They 



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20 Cennewee SbtttciitB 

would like to vote for me, but he dominates 
them." 

**He has been using his money," the man 
replied with an oath. 

They parted, and Mr. Felton entered his 
own room and closed the door. It was a 
hotel, but a hotel had been his home for years. 
He had never married. Early in life, when 
poverty and he were comrades, in an imperi- 
ous, half-defiant way he had loved. The 
remembrance stirred him still, and at times it 
would make him start up and walk, in that 
long stride of his, up and down the room. 
The world called him stern, unfeeling ; he was 
only reserved. There had been nothing in his 
associations or surroundings to develop the 
lighter, gentler side of his character. He had 
grappled with realities, with cold, deliberate 
facts from his boyhood. 

He now strode up and down the floor, pass- 
ing his fingers through his hair, or clutching 
them together behind his back. He was try- 
ing to think, to plan, to contrive some way to 
turn the tide of opposition. He was not one 
to give up without a struggle. Despite the 
apprehension of the morning, the disaffection 
of his old party associates shocked him greatly. 
There were men in the Convention voting 
against him that had been his political sup- 



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C^e Mtmtn from ^tnntMtt 21 

porters for years ; one of them he had caused 
to be appointed postmaster ; another, after a 
bitter fight, he had succeeded in having re- 
tained as marshal. There was a rising young 
lawyer to whom he had thrown many minor 
cases, and an old farmer, to save whose feel- 
ings he had refused to prosecute his son for 
murder, and there was one, a ballot-box 
stuff er — here the congressman winced — who 
would be now in the penitentiary but for 
powerful political influence. There must be 
a reason for this sudden change, he argued. 
Of course Rans was at the bottom of it, but 
where did he get his hold, how did he acquire 
his influence? Impatiently he walked to the 
window and looked out. The street below 
was full of people, as the Convention had 
adjourned till seven o'clock that evening. A 
crowd of delegates was standing on the corner 
just below him, Rans in the midst of them, 
and everybody was laughing and talking, 
seemingly in a state of high good humor. 
Mr. Felton watched Rans and his friends, till 
they moved off together and entered a neigh- 
boring saloon. 

**D — n him,** he said aloud, and left the 
window. 

*'Who?** his secretary asked, entering the 
rooni as Mr. Felton spoke. 



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22 EtnntMtt Sfcetc^ed 

**Rans. He has done it all, Charley. 
Before God, I'd like to kill him/* 

**So should I," and young Weston sprang 
to his feet. **If you say so, I will do it.*' 

*'No, no; I need no one to help me with the 
scoundrel." He stopped suddenly, then 
added, **yet he has always slipped in by his low 
methods ahead of me." 

**We will beat him yet — you were within fif- 
teen votes of a nomination on last ballot." 

Mr. Felton's face cleared for an instant, 
then he shook his head. 

**Yes, and lacked twenty the ballot before, 
and twenty-five the one before that; now, I 
have run up to within fifteen, may get to 
within ten, but I cannot be nominated in that 
Convention — Rans controls enough votes to 
prevent it. I swept my eye over the body, 
and saw him. The low cunning was beaming 
from his countenance; he seemed too well 
satisfied not to be secure. He is good at fig- 
ures, and knows his men." 

**I have some mail here,** Weston said, lay- 
ing numerous letters and packages upon the 
table. 

**Look and see if there is anything of im- 
portance," stopping in his restless walk to 
listen. 

Charley tore open letter after letter, some 



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Cj^e Mtmttt from Cennes^ee 23 

on the political situation, some in reference to 
bills pending in the House. There was also 
an invitation to make speeches in one of the 
doubtful states. 

'*We shall soon be through with all this, old 
fellow," Mr. Felton said, and impatiently 
brushed letters and newspapers aside. Noth- 
ing pleased him, his plans were frustrated, the 
props knocked from under him, and he was 
dissatisfied with himself, mortified that he 
should be again outgeneraled by Rans. 

'*Here is a letter marked * personal' that 
you should open yourself," Weston said, 
endeavoring to appear calm, though feeling 
nearly as much discomfited as was his chief. 

Mr. Felton took it front him, and, without 
looking at the address, broke the seal. 

**So Agnes is dead," he said aloud, laying 
the letter down, **has been dead nearly a 
year." 
. The secretary looked up inquiringly. 

**She was my only brother's wife," he ex- 
plained. **He died many years ago; you have 
never heard me speak of her. She did not 
grieve long for poor Jeff. I hardly thought 
her out of her weeds when she wrote me she 
was to be married again. Yes," as though 
talking to himself, **she was pretty, very 
pretty," he laughed a hard, unpleasant laugh, 



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24 Cenne00ee Sbtttc^tB 

'*but I never liked her. They had a child,'* 
starting up. **Read the letter, Charley, and 
see if they say anything about it — I believe it 
was a girl. After Jeff died I took little inter- 
est in them." He walked back to the win- 
dow. **The Convention is assembling, you 
should go," he said. 

**Not for half an hour yet," Weston glanced 
at his watch as he spoke. ** There will be 
some men here to see you before it meets. 
They have a scheme on hand, by which they 
hope to do something with the Dare County 
delegation; it is really friendly to us." Then 
taking up the letter, **It seems the daughter 
writes this, Mr. Felton, it commences *My 
dear Uncle,' and is signed * Viola Felton.' " 

**I had not noticed," coming back to the 
table. *'It is clear to me now," looking it 
over again. **Her mother is dead, she writes 
to tell me. It is a sad letter, Charley. She 
says I am her only kin — she has come to the 
valley of dry bones for a relation, hasn't she?" 

His face looked grim and careworn. *,*I 
shall write to her sometime, but I cannot 
think of it now. Put the letter away, Charley. * * 

There was a knock at the door, and soon 
the room was filled with his political support- 
ers. 

The Convention lasted for days ; there were 



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Cj^e fSitmitt from ^ttintuBtt 25 

wire pulling and talking, and attempts to man- 
age, but the vote stood practically the same. 

Through the long, exhausting sessions, Rans 
seemed perfectly content. A placid smile 
continually expanded his round, well-fed face. 
Weston swore that it glistened and shone with 
pleasure. Whenever a ballot was called, he 
calmly awaited the result. 

**Your votes are not wavering, Elijah?" he 
said to the chairman of the Dare County dele- 
gations. 

'*They are all right, Mr. Rans," was the 
reply; **I can influence them," and the man 
passed on, a disturbed look on his face. **If 
I were out of your power I'd show you how our 
people would vote," he thought, as he took 
his seat. 

The weather continued very warm, the wind 
coming in through the wide-open windows was 
as the breath of a furnace, and the dust from 
the stony streets made everything dry and 
stifling. Many of the delegates looked wilted 
and indifferent, lounging in depressed, re- 
laxed heaps in their chairs. But the party 
leaders showed no yielding to climatic influ- 
ence. The heat may have made them a trifle 
more inflammable and pugnacious, but they 
were there for a purpose and would leave no 
means untried to accomplish it. 



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26 (TntnesHee Sbtttt^tsi 

Saturday morning the Convention met at the 
usual hour. It had been in session for nearly 
a week, and those delegates who did not 
live in the town were anxious to get back to 
their homes. The balloting began with the 
monotonous result — the dead-lock still pre- 
vailed — Mr. Felton lacked fifteen votes of a 
nomination. His friends now gathered their 
forces for a final rally ; they made speeches, 
and endeavored to impress upon the Conven- 
tion the weight and significance of the major- 
ity. They said for nearly a week, day after 
day, it had been shown that Mr. Felton was 
the choice of more than one-half of the dele- 
gates, and they declared by every precedent 
of party policy the opposition ought gracefully 
to yield. They closed with eulogies on the 
character, attainments, and well-known public 
service of their candidate. They felt they 
could not stop, and could not say too much, 
so, one after another, the congressman's 
neighbors and friends sprang to their feet, 
and old Southern eloquence and loyalty rang 
through the hall. 

For the first time since the Convention as- 
sembled Rans grew pale. Had he lost his 
hold? Was vengeance slipping from his grasp? 
The men about him were evidently moved. 
He hastily scribbled a note, and sent it away, 



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C^e Member from Etnnt^Btt 27 

then he leaned back in his chair, and tried to 
appear indifferent ; but his hands were nervous 
and left free they trembled. 

As there comes a lull before a storm, so a 
silence fell upon the Convention. Men forgot 
to talk and looked about them expectantly. 
They knew that the crisis was at hand, that at 
last something was going to happen. Besides, 
a disintegrating process had been going on 
slowly among the delegates; their outlook, 
their point of view was shifting; they were 
ripe for suggestion, for direction. 

As though in response to the general look 
of inquiry, in the extreme end of the hall a 
delegate rose and made his way up the main 
aisle until he stood almost directly in front of 
the chairman's desk. He was a lawyer from 
the adjoining town, and he held Rans' note in 
his hand. At first his voice was scarcely 
audible, and his manner hesitating, deprecat- 
ing; everything about him was conciliatory, 
as if he feared to be hissed or stormed 
down ; but gaining confidence as he went on, 
he spoke with decision and force. He said, 
as the eloquent speakers before him had stated 
they had sat there for days, wrangling over a 
deadlock that seemed impossible to break. 
**The candidates!*' here he threw back his 
head in hearty good comradeship, **why we 



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28 ^mntMtt S^tttt'^tB 

all know them; they are splendid citizens, 
whole-souled, brainy men, abundantly able 
to represent this district or any other dis- 
trict on God's earth in Congress. But, gentle- 
men," he passed his handkerchief across his 
brow, and smiled, **we have proved by the 
sweat of our faces for nearly a week that 
neither of the aspirants, however worthy, is the 
choice of two-thirds of this body. I now insist 
that all instruction be removed, all candidates 
withdrawn, and that we proceed to put other 
men in nomination, or else,** he shrugged his 
shoulders and raised his eyebrows, **let us 
adjourn and go home to our people and tell 
them we were not able to do what they sent 
us here to do. We are no one man's district," 
he declared earnestly, *'we have many party 
leaders worthy of promotion. 1 again ask that 
all instructions be removed, and we proceed 
to agree upon a candidate." 

There were hisses and cries of **No, no!" 
But he continued his speech, and when he had 
finished, the hall rang with applause, in which 
many, whom Weston did not know were waver- 
ing, joined. The Felton delegates held a con- 
ference, however, and refused to withdraw 
their man. 

Before the next ballot was taken, some one 
with a pyrotechnical display of oratory nomi- 



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C^e Mtmbtt from ^tnntMtt 29 

nated Archibald Rans. At the sound of his 
name half the Convention was on its feet, the 
opposition had at last showed its hand. The 
ballot was taken amid hisses, and howls, and 
cheers. When the result was announced it 
was found that Rans had divided the vote with 
Mr. Felton. The Felton men were desperate, 
the Rans followers triumphant. The next ballot 
showed a gain for Rans, and a corresponding 
loss for Felton. Rans was popular all over 
the district, except where his tyranny in a 
business way had been felt, and he had never 
been mentioned as a political possibility, which 
fact stood him in good stead now. If they 
could not get Mr. Felton — and that seemed 
impossible — where would they find a more 
practical business man, one who understood 
the needs of the people better than Mr. Rans? 
He was no politician, so much the better for 
that. 

On each succeeding ballot the Rans majority 
increased. His gains were so considerable 
that he was within a few votes of a nomina- 
tion. The Felton phalanx seemed to go all to 
pieces ; the leaders lost nerve and confidence. 
Charley Weston jumped on a chair and with- 
drew Mr. Felton's name. Rans' nomination 
on the next ballot appeared inevitable. 

Mr. Felton now came slowly into the Con- 



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30 Cenne00ee Sbtttt^tB 

vention, and stood talking with the delegation 
of his own county. Some one had given him 
a proxy and he was a member of the body. . 

He looked grave, but very quiet and uncon- 
cerned. No one could have told there was a 
difference — he did not show it by the flicker 
of an eye-lash. His presence brought forth 
the old applause they had never failed to give 
him. When it subsided, he said: 

**I am here to tell you that though un- 
horsed I can fight in the ranks, and in the 
future, as in the past, in office and out of 
office, we will battle side by side for the 
good of our great party — the fundamental 
principles are in our hearts and shall ever com- 
niand our support. In surveying the field, in 
casting about for a candidate there are many 
whom we would love to honor." (A cry of 
**Why not you?'') **My friend, that is out of 
the question," waving his hand to silence him. 
**As I have said, there are many strong men 
among us ; men who should receive the unani- 
mous support of this Convention, and of the 
people at the polls. But there is one who 
comes to me pre-eminently, above all others, 
a leader of leaders, a great man among great 
men, honest, loyal, unswerving ; one whom you 
would honor yourselves in honoring.*' He 
stopped and let his eyes run slowly over the 



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C^e Member from KtnntBUtt 31 

body of attentive listeners. **I mean the 
Hon. James H. Justice. Gentlemen, I place 
him in nomination and ask for him your hon- 
est, unbought support." The last two words 
were hissed from between his teeth, and he 
looked directly into Rans' face. 

There was considerable excitement during 
this speech, as only a few present knew whom 
Mr. Felton would name. When he had con- 
cluded, and an old man, universally popular 
and beloved, against whom no factional fight 
had been waged, was before the Convention, 
it went wild with enthusiasm. The Rans sup- 
porters fell away like mist. Judge Justice was 
nominated, and the Convention was over. 

A sudden discontent, a fierce loathing that 
was bom of the excitement and disappoint- 
ment, passed over the congressman as he left 
the cheering crowd behind him, and sought 
the open air. 

*'A set of howling hoodlums," he muttered 
between clinched teeth. **They do not know 
what they are shouting for, it would have been 
just the same had it been I, or Clarke, or 
Rans. They had never thought of Justice till 
I nominated him." 

'*Well, you defeated Rans, Mr. Felton," 
Charley Weston said, coming up to him just 
outside of the building. 



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32 ^tnntB^tt Skkttt^tfi 

**Yes, cold comfort that," was the reply; 
then looking down at Weston, ** Justice did 
not want it, Charley, I told him he was our 
chance to checkmate Rans, and he consented. " 

A crowd of delegates rushed out of the hall 
almost brushing against the defeated candidate 
without being conscious of his proximity. 
They took the middle of the street, a band 
met them at the corner. Their business was 
plain — Mr. Felton and Weston looked at each 
other and smiled — the committee was going 
to notify Judge Justice of his good fortune. 

**If you had not come just when you did, 
Felton, Rans would have been nominated on the 
next ballot," one of his friends said, catching 
up with the congressman and his secretary. 

**Yes, I know it," wearily. **Charley," 
turning to Weston, **we will go back to Wash- 
ington to-morrow." And he went in, closed 
the door of his private room and was alone. 

At first instinctively he began a restless pace 
up and down the floor; then he threw off his 
coat, and stretched himself across the bed. 
The man had been under great excitement; 
had held himself under tension ; but now he 
could relax for the suspense was over, and 
** defeat meant nothing more than defeat." 
For days he had not slept; now he slumbered 
in peace, and when he awoke the long shadows 



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C|e Mtmtn from ^tnntMtt 33 

of the evening were upon the earth. He arose 
and stood at the window letting the cool breezes 
touch his cheek. After a time he went out, 
made his way through the Square, then down 
the principal street leading from the town ; he 
passed his own law office, and looked up at 
the sign in a dazed way. As he did so, the 
newspaper's grim joke of the politician out of 
a job came to him, and he repeated aloud, 
**Felton, attorney-at-law, " and smiled. On 
he went past the Institute whose gray, ivy-clad 
towers stood as sentinels, and now the cool, 
grass-spread, undulating country stretched 
out before him. He knew it all — ^was it not 
the theater of his youthful exploits ! There he 
had shot partridges, and trapped them, too, 
and farther on treed 'possums and coons and 
run foxes (the hounds baying music), all his 
boyhood. 

The scene rested him now. The wind that 
came from over the fields was like the breath 
of his youth, the years slipped away, the hurry, 
and tramp of earth were silent, the fever of 
unrest had gone. 

"What is the use of this impetuous haste? 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 4c * 

The summer season is so brief at best, 
Let us look on the stars — and pluck the flowers, 
And when our feet grow weary, let us rest." 



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34 Cennej50ee Sitrtcftejj 

But life rejoices in sharp contrasts, and 
swift revulsions of feeling. As he stood there 
on a rise in the road, taking in anew the old, 
familiar bearings some one passed him, and a 
voice, the discord of his early days, said: 
"How d*ye do, Mr. Felton? A pleasant day, 
sir!'' 

The congressman started at the sound; in 
an instant every nerve was aquiver, the blood 
tingling to the ends of his veins. Looking up 
quickly, his eyes fell upon Rans only a few 
feet farther up the gradually sloping hill. The 
latter had almost reached the top, and his 
short, rotund figure made a very unsightly 
silhouette against the pleasant evening sky. 
Mr. Felton bounded forward and whirled Rans 
around in the road, for he imagined he saw a 
triumphant smile through the back of his 
enemy's head. 

**Did you address me, sir?" from between 
closed teeth. 

**I merely said, *How d'ye do?' " As he 
spoke Rans glanced up into Felton's face, and 
his own blanched, for all the pent-up, aggre- 
gated fury of a lifetime seemed unloosed. 

*' And why did you presume to speak to me?" 
the congressman demanded. '*Look here," 
grasping Rans's shoulder, and holding it firmly, 
'* there is no use in pretending not to know 



vGooqIc 



Cfte Mtraltt from ^tnntMtt 35 

what you have done to-day, and why you did 
it — the old fires are not out with either of us. 
We came near settling scores twenty years 
ago down yonder," pointing through the 
trees; **would to God we had done so. You 
miserable spawn of the earth, you traitor to 
every higher — ** shaking him as he spoke. 

"Take care! take care!" Rans shouted, 
breaking away, his own eyes blazing; **I am 
no match for you physically, but I am armed. 
Defend yourself!" and quickly drawing a pistol 
he leveled it at Felton's head. 

'*Put up your weapon,** the lawyer cried, 
striding toward him, **or shoot if you dare. 
No,** sneeringly, **your bullets are silver, they 
are never used in guns. " 

Going closer, as Rans stood irresolute, he 
wrenched the pistol from his hand and threw 
it to the side of the road. 

**So much for your arms. Now hear me," 
advancing his head in front of his body, and 
speaking in low, deliberate tones. **This is 
the last time you shall ever cross my path. I 
swear it. Do so again at your peril. You 
should not live now except for the bare possi- 
bility in my mind that Mary loves you. Now 
go.*' And Rans went. 

Mr. Felton's eye followed the retreating 
figure till a turn in the road hid it from view. 



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3^ Cenne00ee Sftrtc^w 

**As a tribute to the past, Mary," he said, 
with a wave of his hand and a bow of old-time 
courtesy. Then he walked rapidly back to 
town. 

That night was spent talking over the polit- 
ical situation with his friends, and the next 
morning he and Weston left for Washington. 

There is a difference in returning to the 
field of labor after defeat; the old worship of 
the rising sun is brought home. The world 
loves success, for there is something wrong 
somewhere when one does not get it. The 
heart may be all right, and one may be just as 
good a fellow, but not nearly so useful a friend. 
So the world will believe to the end. 

Mr. Felton was conscious of such a thought 
when he returned; he, the invincible, had 
been brought down. His colleagues gathered 
about him, and were sincere in expressions of 
regret. They knew of his immense fund of 
reserve force, and they relied on his cool head 
and clear brain in a crisis. 

**It is only a set-back," they said, confi- 
dently; **we shall hear from you again." He 
told them he did not know. 

One evening several weeks after his return, 
he and Charley Weston were alone in his room. 

"Charley," he asked, ** where is that letter 
from Jeff's daughter? I had another to-day 



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Clbe Member from Cenne00ee 37 

from her stepfather, saying her mother left 
her to me; named me her guardian — ^ahem." 
There was a dry note in his voice. 

**I thought that was made very clear in the 
young lady's letter," Weston said. 

**I did not so understand it, let me see it 
again — I was absorbed in other things at the 
time." 

Weston found him the letter, and for the 
third time Mr. Felton read it, at last realizing 
the purport, and it was clear that the prospect 
it held forth was anything but satisfactory to 
him. He got up and walked restlessly about 
the room, stopped at the bookcase, selected a 
book, from which he read a sentence or two, 
and then put aside the volume. 

**It cannot be possible that she wants to 
come to me, Charley, and yet, what does she 
mean? She says she knows nothing of her 
father's family, and that she has but a faint 
remembrance of him" ; he raised one shoulder 
impatiently. **I should like her more if she 
remembered Jeff better. Why did she not 
write before? Agnes has been dead nearly a 
year. Poor Agnes! she had to go like any 
one else, somehow, I thought she would live 
forever. " He was silent for several moments, 
apparently in troubled thought, then said: 
**What do they expect of me? Do they want 



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me to bring her here, to have a young girl on 
my hands? That is out of the question. 
Charley, it is worse than being beat for Con- 
gress.*' 

Weston laughed. 

**I shall write to her, though, a nice, 
friendly letter, and send her a check. They 
say that is a solace to most women. ' ' 

**Now mind, Mr. Felton," Charley said, as 
the older man seated himself at his desk, **you 
do not forget and think you are writing to a 
constituent, and sending him some seed." 

The congressman wrote slowly, laboriously. 
He stopped, and filled out a check for a liberal 
amount, then commenced again; he did not 
remember so serious a task in an epistolary 
way. At last he drew a long breath and 
looked up. **I think that will do," he said. 

In a bungling endeavor to dissuade her from 
coming, and to be polite at the same time, a 
finesse foreign to most men, he had, without 
knowing it, sent her a cordial invitation. 

The letter finished, he put on his hat and 
went out. 

*'I suppose one always has to lie when deal- 
ing with women," he said to himself; '*I put 
down half a dozen in that letter. But she is 
Jeff's daughter, and I must make her feel wel- 
gome; She will not come. I told her I was a 



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Cte Mtmttx from EtnntMtt 39 

crusty old bachelor. If she should come — " 
he stopped and walked in another direction. 
'* After that the deluge.** 

•*What is the matter?" some one said, com- 
ing up and taking his arm from behind. 
**You are like one pursued by the furies." 

**I do not know that I am not,** Felton 
replied, and laughed a short, hard laugh. 

**What sort of a fury; a woman?** 

The congressman assented. 

**Young and handsome?** 

**Both; I know that she is young, and infer 
that she is handsome. She is my niece.*' 

**That goes without saying,** his friend 
agreed, laughing. **Has your features doubt- 
less — good type for a woman!*' 

** Excellent,** smiling in spite of himself. 
'*I never thought of her being like me. She 
is my brother's child — her mother and father 
looked well. They are both dead, and she is 
left to me. What am I to do with her, Hill- 
yer?** 

He faced about squarely, and regarded his 
friend, a grizzled army officer, seriously, ques- 
tioningly. The two had been intimate for 
years, and Roger Hillyer thought he under- 
stood Mr. Felton better than that gentleman 
understood himself. 

'*Do nothing; why, she will take care of 



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40 ^tnntMtt S&etcte0 

herself. Bring a woman to Washington, and 
I engage she is entertained." 

**But I do not want to bring her here, my 
time is about out anyway.** 

**You will be in Congress next winter. I do 
not know what I shall do without you, old 
friend." As Hillyer spoke, he held Felton's 
arm a little closer. **Let her come now," he 
went on, **and get the bearings, and next win- 
ter we will show her something of what is 
called life." Major Hillyer seemed quite 
cheerful over the situation. 

**She may have to come for a few weeks," 
Mr. Felton said, solemnly, **but next winter I 
shall try," he stopped lost in thought, *'to 
send her to school." 

Hillyer laughed. 

*'What is her name?" 

** Viola Felton." 

**Not from Los Angeles?" 

** Yes, from Los Angeles; my brother moved 
there years ago." 

**I have met her," Major Hillyer replied, 
with animation. **She was often at my 
cousin's house during my visit there last 
year, a friend of her daughter. Why, my 
dear sir, she is a beauty. I have intended 
to ask if any of your people were out there. 
Send Viola Felton to school," he laughed. 



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C^e Mtmttx from ^tnntMtt ^i 

**I think not." He stopped and laughed 
again. '*I must leave you now; I am going 
to make a call in here, unless you will come 
with me." 

Mr. Felton declined, he was in no mood for 
visiting. 

'*Let me know when your niece arrives," 
Hillyer said, resting his cane on the lower step 
of the house, and speaking with consoling 
interest. **My cousin, George Hillyer, was 
quite in love with her; you know he is stationed 
in Southern California now." He mounted 
two steps, and then turned and asked with 
greater concern than he had yet shown: 
•*Has Mrs. Blake returned?" 

Felton said, **No," and the major disap- 
peared into one of the handsome residences 
on Connecticut Avenue. 

Mr. Felton walked away. **And so I have 
a society young woman on my hands," he said 
aloud, and groaned. 

Viola was not slow to accept her uncle's 
invitation. 

'*I shall leave Los Angeles Thursday," she 
telegraphed, **will wire you en route." 

Mr. Felton kept her out of his mind as 
much as possible till the evening before her 
arrival. 

"^Jeff's daughter will be here to-morrow," 



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42 ^tnntBBtt Sbiitttlitfi 

he said to Weston. ** Could you not see the 
proprietor, and arrange to make her comfort- 
able?" 

Charley agreed, and immediately went down 
to the office of the hotel. 

**We can locate Miss Felton just opposite 
you here," he said, returning rather sooner 
than Mr. Felton expected. 

** Entirely too near, Charley; I thought you 
would know that a flight above or below would 
be much better. * * 

**I know," the younger man replied, a 
twinkle in his eye, **but as you are her guar- 
dian, her chaperon, so to speak, I thought it 
best to have her at least on the same floor," 
and Weston laughed convulsively. 

**Damn it all, I say, Charley," Mr. Felton 
cried and was silent. **Let us go for a drive, ** 
he proposed later, **the wind in our faces will 
do us both good." 

The congressman kept thorough-bred Ten- 
nessee horses, and this afternoon whenever 
the road was clear and the stretch long enough 
he gave them full rein, talking to them the 
while, as though they were fractious children, 
for whom he entertained infinite toleration. 
All at once his good humor vanished, he pulled 
them down to a walk, and turned their heads 
homeward. 



vGooqIc 



C^e Mttaitt from Cenneststee 43 

"You are going back early/' Weston said, 
feeling that the sudden change of speed and 
course required of him a remark. 

**Yes," he drove on listlessly, *'I am anx- 
ious to get to town. * * 

The horses of their own accord quickened 
their pace. 

**You will meet Viola at the train?" he said 
at last, looking inquiringly at Weston. 

*'If you desire it, with pleasure," he replied 
**I am quite anxious to make Miss Felton's 
acquaintance ; in a sense, I consider myself her 
guardian, too. But how shall I find her, how 
know her — possibly I can* manage it, how- 
ever," hopefully. 

'* Maybe you cannot, and I do not want her 
feelings hurt just at first, so I shall go myself, 
but you must go with me." 

The next morning found them both at the 
station. Mr. Felton insisted on being there 
early, and gave himself fully half an hour to 
stride restlessly up and down the waiting- 
room. He was in trouble ; his quiet bachelor 
life was to be invaded, and that by a young 
girl whose mother had done him a great wrong, 
but she was his brother's child, and that fact 
must be considered. 

*'This is a poor business, Charley," he said 
at last; "don't you think she would like to go 



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44 Cenne00ee Sftrttfiw 

to school?" His mind failed to take in any 
more feasible way to dispose of her. 

** You might marry her to me, ** Weston said, 
boldly, relishing his chief's discomfiture. *'I 
have taken many a burden off your shoulders 
before, Mr. Felton." 

** Given the alternative she might prefer 
books.*' 

**Yes, higher education, possibly she is 
strong minded, and has views. ' ' 

**God forbid," was the fervent protest, and 
looking up he saw the train coming slowly into 
the station. 

The two stood" and watched the people 
bustling out through the gates, but there was 
no one answering to their pre-conceived idea 
of Viola Felton. 

In a crowd such as that, plain faces buzz 
out like bees ; they are around you, about you, 
they are speaking to you and you regard them 
as a matter of course. But comely folk make 
a different impression ; there are fewer of them 
and they carry with them a sort of distinction, 
a sense of isolation. When nearly every one 
had passed, Weston uttered an exclamation, 
and said: 

"I think that is your niece, Mr. Felton." 

The latter looked, and saw a slight, girlish 
figure dressed in mourning, coming toward 



vGooqIc 



Cf)^ Mtrabtt from Cennejjjjee 45 

him. She was closely veiled, but there was a 
familiar air, a family resemblance about her 
that he took in at a glance. 

'*This is my niece, Viola Felton," he said, 
stepping forward with an alacrity of which he 
had no idea. 

Weston saw there was no mistake, and 
dropped into the background. 

"And you are my Uncle Felton," the girl 
said, taking his outstretched hands; then 
throwing back her veil, she held her face up 
to be kissed. 

"Bless my life," he mentally ejaculated, as 
his lips touched her brow, half doubting 
whether he was pleased or not. But he looked 
down into the exquisite face, now very grave 
and white, and the faces known in his youth 
came back to him — there were Jeff and Agnes, 
and Mary and Rans. 

"Come, my dear," he said, brushing the 
mist from his eyes, and getting back to the 
present. And motioning to the porter who 
carried her bag, they made their way to the 
carriage awaiting them at the door. 

At first neither spoke, a silence difficult to 
break had fallen between them. The light 
vehicle rolled rapidly over the smooth pave- 
ment, and the splendid sweep of Pennsylvania 
Avenue, the great parade ground of the nation, 



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46 Cenneststee Sbi^tttlitfi 

was seen by the young girl for the first time. It 
is the way over which presidents have gone to 
assume or lay off power, down which triumph- 
ant armies have marched with waving flags 
and stirring music, and through which soldier, 
statesman, and president have been borne to 
the sound of muffled drum beats. 

'*Did you have a pleasant journey?" Mr. 
Felton asked, finally. She had turned from 
looking at the Capitol, and was now facing 
the uncompromising position of the Treas- 
ury. 

*'Yes, it was uneventful and without deten- 
tion." The low voice sounded familiar to him. 
**The first twenty-four hours I was miserably 
tired, but I seemed to rest these last few 
days." 

'*Did you have company?" 

She told him only a part of the way. 

Mr. Felton watched the new found niece 
very closely, wonderfully so for him, and more 
than once he smiled over the little family 
traits he recognized in her. Somehow, this 
morning he thought of his brother and not of 
Agnes. *' Viola has her father's brow and open 
countenance," he decided, **and the poise of 
her head is like his. ' * Then he sighed, this 
elder brother had been his idea of a fine gentle- 
man in the boyhood days. 



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E^t Mtmbtx front ULtnntMtt 47 

To Viola, her uncle was a revelation, he was 
not at all as she had imagined him to be. 
'*But mamma never told me how he looked,** 
she thought. **Here he is almost young, 
handsome, distinguished-looking, when I ex- 
pected to find a kind, but fossilized old bach- 
elor." 

Impulsively she looked up into his face. He 
was standing in the doorway of her room and 
would be gone in a moment. 

*'Your letter was so thoughtful, uncle," she 
said, **that I left Los Angeles almost immedi- 
ately upon its receipt. I did not realize till 
well under way what a troublesome ward I 
might be to you." She scanned his face 
closely. *'I have wondered, too," speaking 
slowly, possibly anxiously, *'if my telegram 
was not a surprise, a shock to you." 

Mr. Felton laughed outright. 

"Not at all, not at all," smiling down into 
her face. **We shall get on well together, I 
am sure. The idea of having a niece with 
me was perplexing at first, but your father*s 
child could never be anything but welcome. 
Why, my dear, I have no one but you. I 
did not think I had any one till your letter 
came." 

*'Did you know of my existence?" 

*'Yes, in a vague way, and I should have 



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48 ^tnntMtt SbMtfitB 

looked after you more. I did once send a 
letter asking if you needed anything, but it 
was not answered. * ' 

Viola did not reply. 

Resting his elbow on the door facing, he 
continued. ** Agnes ought to have sent me 
word, I shouldn't like for Jeff to see I had 
neglected you. Do you think the spirits 
know, Viola?'* 

*'I suppose not,*' she replied, a little tremor 
coming into her voice, **yet it is a comfort to 
feel that they are near. * * 

He regarded her earnestly for some mo- 
ments, taking in every feature of her face. 
At last he spoke: **I am glad you have come, 
child,** laying his hand gently upon her arm. 
**I did not think I should be, but I am very 
glad. I am set in my ways,** drawing his 
hand across his eyes, **and may not do all that 
I should do, may forget you, become absorbed 
in other things, but remind me. I'll tell 
Weston to remind me, just as if I were Jeff, 
your father, for I want to take his place as 
nearly as possible. ' * 

Then, abrupt as usual, he left her and went 
into his own room. 

m * 4i * 4c 

*'Miss Felton is not nearly so bad as be- 
ing defeated for Congress, * * Charley Weston 



vGooqIc 



^I^e iBtmitt front Cenne00ee 49 

said one day as Viola, having walked with 
them a part of the way to the capitol, left 
them. 

"No; there are mitigating circumstances. 
Charley," turning upon his secretary and 
uttering his confidence involuntarily, "she is 
all Felton — I was afraid she would be like the 
other side." 

He made a great speech that day in the 
House. It was upon a bill bearing the name 
of a distinguished senator, and tending to 
mitigate the financial condition of the coun- 
try. The speaker's words were aggressive, 
strong, eloquent. When he had finished, his 
friends from both sides of the chamber crowded 
around his desk to shake his hand. 

That evening at dinner, a very handsome 
woman entered the dining-room and came 
directly to the Felton table. She was a study 
in soft white and filmy lace. She seemed 
made for the gown she wore, as the gown was 
for her. Every curve of her perfectly molded 
figure was brought out to the best advantage, 
every fold of the drapery fell in the most 
graceful way. Her hair was parted in the 
middle, and the natural waves were drawn 
back just escaping her pretty ears, into a full 
light knot low on the back of her neck. She 
carried nothing in her hand, but walked in that 



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50 JTennwjjee SbMt^tB 

**easy, indolent way she had, so confident of 
her charm. * * 

Mr. Felton rose with alacrity and offered his 
hand in pleased surprise. **Mrs. Blake! 
How d'ye do, madam. I did not know you 
had returned. I am glad to see you. Let me 
introduce my niece, Miss Felton." 

The lady spoke to Viola and Weston, then 
turned to the congressman: 

*'I heard your splendid speech to-day.'" 
She allowed her pleasant voice to linger over 
the words. ** Major Hillyer told me you 
might speak, and I begged him to take me to 
the capitol. You know I arrived this morn- 
ing. 

No, he did not know. 

**You should have felt my presence and 
gathered inspiration." There was not the 
slightest haste in her utterance, every syllable 
was pronounced and given the most effective 
emphasis. 

'*You say I did well?" 

Her eyes smiled an assent. 

**Then credit it to your presence there this 
morning." And he bowed in his most genial 
way. **I very much appreciate your going," 
he added more seriously, **so much statistics 
and dry detail I fear bored you. ' * 

**No; I was glad to have the information; 



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C^e Mtmbtx from tUtnntsiSitt 51 

then your appeals for justice and right were 
very stirring." 

He went with her to her seat and they sat 
talking till her dinner was brought on. 

**How pretty your niece is. The Feltons 
are a strongly marked race. ' * 

This last was added inconsequently. He 
passed his hand up and d6wn his face, then 
drew it across his chin. 

'*I think Viola looks like my people,** he 
replied, losing sight of the implied compli- 
ment. 

**And that pleases you. I believe I have 
heard that you did not enjoy her mother's 
family.** 

He was silent. 

** Possibly I should not have spoken,'* sooth- 
ingly, **but you will not be offended with me — 
such good friends as we are. Come to my 
parlor to-night,*' she urged, as he moved 
away. *' Major Hillyer will be there, besides, 
I want to discuss some points in your speech 
to-day that I did not quite understand." 

No, he was not offended with Mrs. Blake ; he 
may have realized that the remark was not in 
that very tactful woman's usual taste, and 
he may unconsciously have winced at the 
thought of any one's knowing that his relations 
with his brother's family were not of the 



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52 CmneB0ee Sftetctw 

closest, but he would go in to see her that 
evening. She had evidently listened to his 
speech with great attention and intelligence. 

His interest in his niece and his idea of duty 
in regard to her manifested itself in the desire 
to have her see the sights. He wished her to 
go through the government buildings (did not 
all newcomers to the city do the same?), to 
look out upon the world from the top of the 
monument, and to climb the many winding 
flights of steps to the dome of the capitol, this 
last if the weather should be propitious, that 
meant, cool enough for the exertion. 

"We must go down the river," he had said 
several times to Weston, and repeated it this 
morning at breakfast. '*I wish Viola to see 
the Potomac." 

The secretary, who was rattling the ice in 
his cantaloupe, looked up much amused. 

*'I shall never more doubt the fellowship of 
ideas," he exclaimed, smiling across the table 
at Viola. "Major Hillyer has just been in, 
and he and Mrs. Blake suggest that we all go 
to Mount Vernon to-day." 

Mr. Felton considered a moment. 

"Yes, I can go," he said, thoughtfully; 
"you know there is no session, and my other 
matters can be left over. You would like to 
go?" questioningly to Viola. 



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C^e Mtmbtx front Cenne00ee 53 

The young girl was charmed with the pros- 
pect. 

Weston dispatched his meal as rapidly as 
possible. *'I will make all the arrangements," 
he said, leaving the table in advance of 
them. 

** Weston is my right arm," Mr. Felton ex- 
claimed, casting a good-natured look after the 
young man as he left the breakfast room. 

♦ ♦ * 4( ♦ 

**Who is uncle's friend?" Viola spoke soUo 
voce to Major Hillyer. 

The whole party except Mr. Felton were 
together on the deck of the steamer Corcoran 
that was just moving off from the pier. 

'*I heard him say as we passed," she con- 
tinued, **that he had come on the river to get 
cool." 

The major glanced across the boat where 
Mr. Felton stood in jocular conversation with 
a gentleman. The latter was holding a great 
English mastiff by the collar. 

"Ah, Carston!" he said with much satisfac- 
tion. '*A young member from the South," 
regarding Viola quizzically, "that is young 
enough, talented, good-looking, quite a swell. 
He even passes muster before the army and 
navy — Shall I present him?" 

Viola laughed. 



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54 Cetme00ee Sftettj^es 

"A gentleman with so many attractions 
should not get warm," she said. 

* ' He is still under the domination of nature, * * 
the major replied, joining in her merriment, 
**but his character is perfecting in congres- 
sional atmosphere, and he may grow angelic 
and escape from it.** 

**Hush,'* Mrs. Blake exclaimed, warningly, 
"here they are.** 

Her remark was none too soon for the major 
saw with alarm that in a moment Philip Cars- 
ton's alert ears would have caught his words. 

"Carston is a fine fellow," Mr. Felton said. 

After introducing the young man to Viola, 
he had moved round and joined Mrs. Blake. 

"Yes, decidedly so,'* was the reply. "Look- 
ing at those two now,*' meaning Viola and 
Carston, "the instinct of the match-maker is 
aroused within me.** 

The congressman was amused. 

"In the effort for some one else you would 
ensnare the victim yourself,** he said, gal- 
lantly. A great gust of wind just then took 
off his hat, and he had to rush after it to keep 
it from going overboard. 

When they were well under way, Carston 
sought a seat near Viola, but he was not sure 
that he wanted to talk. He felt it would be 
pleasant just idly to drift away from Washing- 



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Cfie Mtmin from Cennessee 55 

ton down the beautiful Potomac in silence. 
He had said that he was glad to meet her, and 
had pointed out Arlington as they passed, but 
she did not seem loquacious herself, so in a 
sort of tacit sympathy they watched the water, 
and listened to the dull throb of the boat. 
Her gaze was still upon the broad sweep of 
the river, and he suddenly became conscious 
of the exquisite beauty of her profile. 

'*How long have you been in the city, Miss 
Felton?*' he asked, abruptly, sitting erect and 
showing a disposition to talk. 

Her very blue eyes turned to him from the 
river, and it seemed to Carston that they had 
caught their color from the waters, blue and 
shimmering in the full sunlight. 

**Only a few weeks, ** she replied. 

**I had not heard of your being here. It is 
rather a bad time to come to Washington. ' * 

'•I came to be with my uncle.** 

Carston laughed musically, pleasantly. 

*'I never suspected him of having a niece,** 
he said, *'but he is a man of magnificent sur- 
prises, there is no telling what brilliant feat he 
may accomplish next. You, yourself, have been 
the compensation for his defeat for Congress, 
and now the news comes from his state that 
he will be sent to the Senate.** 

** Uncle Felton has not told me,** she ex- 



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5^ Cennwgee Sftrttjw 

claimed. '*I am very glad. I think politics 
suit him, that he would not be himself out of 
office." 

The boat puffed into and away from Alex- 
andria and they stopped talking to watch the 
sleepy, old Virginia town. 

*'Mr. Felton will be felt wherever he may 
be," Carston said, taking up the conversation 
where they had left off; **he is by nature a 
leader, does his own thinking, keeps his own 
counsel ; he has few equals in the House. Of 
late," smiling significantly, **I fancy he is 
becoming interested — well — in a sentimental 
way. ' ' 

Viola glanced at her uncle and Mrs. Blake, 
who sat not far away in earnest conversation, 
and looked thoughtful. 

'*You are not pleased," Carston said with 
conviction. 

*'I do not understand," she replied. 

** Or will not," he said, *'none of you women 
like a rival. Why would not Mrs, Blake make 
a nice sort of aunt?" 

"I am sure I cannot say, I know her very 
slightly. * * The young girl was annoyed ; she 
had no intention of being confidential with 
an entire stranger. 

*'Where is your home. Miss Felton?" 

She smiled involuntarily. 



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Ci)e Mtxattx from Etnntn^tt 57 

**Here or in Tennessee, I am with my uncle. 
I had thought until your pleasant suggestion 
about the Senate, that hereafter it would be 
Tennessee. You see I, too, am in the hands 
of the dear people." 

Then they were conscious of the grating of 
the boat as it touched at Mount Vernon, and 
Charley Weston came to say that they had 
reached their journey's end. 

**I was just telling Miss Felton that I did 
not know you possessed so gentle a represent- 
ative as herself," Phillip Carston said to Mr. 
Felton, as he and Viola fell in line behind 
that gentleman and Mrs. Blake, and they all 
began the ascent of the long graveled walk to 
the Mansion. 

**A fact much to my credit," the congress- 
man replied, his face relaxing pleasantly. 
**We are going home to Tennessee, Viola and 
I. How much longer do you think the session 
will last?" 

"Only a few weeks surely." 

They spent the day much as all tourists at 
Mount Vernon spend it. They followed the 
crowd through the house, heard the oft told 
tale from the guide whose voice never grows 
weary; they visited the flower gardens, and 
came away laden with bloom. They sat upon 
the lawn, and spoke of the old times, of what 



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5^ Cennr00er Sbtttt1it» 

Washington did in his day, and the change and 
improvement — of the onward march of civili- 
zation, the quickened pulse of thought, the 
swift flight of speech ; the comfort of travel 
by sea and land, of this splendid age that does 
not make people any better, nor statesmen any 
purer, nor the plane of government any higher. 

Mr. Felton said Mount Vernon was **the 
green tent where the republic put its armor 
on. 

There came to them thoughts commonplace 
enough — thoughts that have been expressed so 
often there that they seem very denizens of 
the place — while the river wound in silver at 
their feet, as it moved onward to the sea. 

'*Airs quiet along the Potomac.'* 

The evening shadows lay upon the river, the 
impetuous, blinding glare of the sun had gone, 
and there came something invigorating and 
fine in the strong breeze that rushed into 
people's faces, made miniature sails of ribbons 
and veils, blew handkerchiefs about like white 
caps, and caused hats and even bonnets to be 
subjects for accident policies. The Corcoran 
was nearing Washington. It made its way 
through the silvery stretch of waters with the 
great trailing foam behind it, moving steadily, 
peacefully, and gradually slowing up as the 
domes and monuments of the city came into 



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Cfie Mtmttx from ^tnntMtt 59 

view. Dark clouds were massed over in the 
west, and just below them the sun looked 
out for a moment a glowing disc, as large as 
a cart wheel of gold. 

Mr. Felton found Mrs. Blake an agreeable 
companion, there was in her presence an 
attraction for him. But once when her soft 
gray eyes gazed up earnestly into his face, 
there came to him another woman's eyes, gray 
and beautiful, that were a part of his youth. 

Involuntarily he sighed. 

**I was thinking or dreaming,** he explained 
in answer to her look of inquiry. **0, the 
young hearts, the glad spring time!" 

They were entering the hotel, and the con- 
versation was broken off, but he saw that she 
had mistaken his words for gallantry, and the 
fact struck him with surprise not unmixed with 
pleasure. Long ago he had put love and mar- 
riage out of his thought, but "why not, why 
not?" The question came to him to-day in a 
serious light. 

They found her parlor door ajar, and upon 
her urgent invitation he went in. 

Mrs. Blake spent most of her time in the 
city, and there was consequently much indi- 
viduality in her apartments. The parlor was 
in summer effects ; white muslin curtains of the 
sheerest material, and looped back with the 



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6o Cennwjjee Sftrtcfiw 

daintiest of blue ribbons, adorned the windows. 
The furniture was covered in white linen except 
two or three gilt wicker chairs that were scat- 
tered about the room. A water color with ships 
in the distance and an atmosphere of cool sea 
breeze was in a white enameled frame, and 
resting on an easel of the same material. 
There was also over the marble mantel a larger 
picture by a French artist, evidently of con- 
siderable value. It represented a young girl 
lying almost at full length amidst very green 
grass, while wild flowers, pink, scarlet, purple, 
and blue were thrown, piled up all about her. 
They were in her hair, on her bosom, indeed 
the whole form except one exquisitely molded 
arm that rested carelessly above the head, 
was discovered through the riot of bloom. 
On the table upon a handsome piece of em- 
broidery stood a bowl filled with summer 
annuals, phlox, petunias, and nasturtiums. 

'* Except for a week or ten days at a time I 
always remain in the city,*' Mrs. Blake had 
told him; **I shudder at the thought of soli- 
tude, quiet, and nature. I want the full tide 
of human life always about me.*' 

She gave him the best chair in the room, 
unfurled a large fan and placed it beside him, 
and brought him a glass of water, standing by 
his side while he drank it. 



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Cfie Mtrattx from ILtnntMtt 6i 

*'This is a pleasant place,'* he said, glanc- 
ing about the room as though it rested his 
eyes; **why is it that you always have the best 
things about you?'* 

*'Not always,** she replied. **I am more 
fortunate than usual to-day.** 

He laughed in spite of himself, and shifted 
his position to bring her within the line of his 
vision. 

Mrs. Blake had laid aside her bonnet and 
gloves and was standing by the center table, 
her hand moving slowly around the brim of 
his hat. 

'*0f what are you thinking?** he demanded 
abruptly, startled by the expression of her face. 

With a swift motion she came and sat 
beside him. 

**0f what you said of the young hearts and 
the glad spring time. * * 

If she had intended it to be so her words 
were well timed. She had never so fascinated 
him. 

'*Our hearts are not light like they used to 
be, Clara?** 

He spoke gently, and took the small white 
hand in his firm clasp. 

**The past, how bitter it is," she exclaimed, 
** bitter! terrible! *And life is never the same 
again.* ** 



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62 ^tnntn^H Sb'ktttlitfi 

She left him and went to the window resting 
her head against the pane. 

Mr. Felton looked about him helplessly, and 
then got up and followed her. 

**I rarely give way like this," she said, calm- 
ing herself with an effort and smiling up into 
his face, **but sometimes waves of feeling arise 
and submerge all else — even reason and judg- 
ment." 

They went back to their seats, and she began 
to talk upon other subjects, politics, finance, 
or any question that she deemed of interest 
to him. But she failed to hold his attention ; 
Mrs. Blake, herself, was occupying his whole 
thought. That this splendid woman should 
be so moved troubled him. His mind ran 
swiftly back through the period (not very 
long) of their acquaintance. She might have 
had grief, but only mistakes, wrong, were 
bitter. He dismissed the thought impatiently ; 
there could be nothing in her past the remem- 
brance of which should so overwhelm her— of 
this he was sure — she was only nervous to-day. 

He answered her questions almost at ran- 
dom, and was only conscious that he had 
spoken at all, when he found himself declar- 
ing that his party would be defeated in the 
approaching presidential election. 

**No, no," he said in alarm, **I do not 



vGooqIc 



C^e Mtmttx from ^tnntMtt 63 

believe that at all. I spoke without appre- 
ciating your remark, in fact I was thinking of 
something else.'* 

He arose to go. **What I have seen this 
afternoon distresses me greatly,*' he continued 
awkwardly. **You are so interesting, so 
clever, you give others so much pleasure 
that — *' he stopped. **I had fancied you 
were always happy, always content. I wish I 
could," he began impulsively, then stopped 
again. **I wish you to know," he concluded 
miserably, **that you have my sympathy and 
help in whatever fortune may come to you." 
And he left her feeling like a man who had 
made a poor, inappropriate speech. 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

'*The affair grows apace, the widow is to 
the fore," Weston whispered to Carston as his 
chief, having kept them waiting an hour for 
dinner, entered the room. 

**It looks that way,** was Carston*s smiling 
reply. 

All through the meal Mr. Felton was distrait 
and silent; he could not enter into the wit and 
raillery that was rife about the table, he was 
unfit for it, it jarred upon his over-wrought 
nerves. And when Carston told him that a 
"good few** congressmen would meet that 
night at Habner*s to sit about the table, drink 



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64 Cennf00rr Sbttttl^t^ 

beer, and listen to the music, he shook his 
head. 

**I cannot go," he declared, "they say they 
keep cool down there, but it is a mistake. I 
do not feel like it anyway. Then," with an 
attempt at a joke, **I have had enough gayety 
for one day. There is Hillyer now, * ' the major 
was standing in the door, **he and I will move 
our chairs out in front of the hotel and get 
through the evening all right." 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

"Hillyer, has Mrs. Blake's life been a very 
sad one?" 

For half an hour Mr. Felton had been trying 
to ask this question. But Carston stayed with 
them till he left to keep the appointment at 
Habner's; then Charley Weston rushed up 
to tell of a fine horse having been killed by 
dashing in front of a car. Besides many of 
the habitues, hangers on, of the hotel had 
stopped for a word with the two friends, and 
a reporter had demanded an item of news, 
either political or army. But every one had 
now gone, and the way was clear for a private 
conversation. 

The question, or was it the shadows of the 
night, made the major very thoughtful. He 
did not answer with his usual promptness. 

**Yes," hesitatingly, **she has passed 



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Cfir Mtrain from Cennessssee 65 

through a great deal, and there has been some 
criticism, much talk. But,** he broke out im- 
pulsively, **I have known Clara Deane from 
her childhood, and a braver, nobler woman 
does not breathe.*' 

**What talk? What criticism?'* his com- 
panion demanded, laconically. 

**I do not like to speak of it, Felton, as few 
people in this part of the country know her 
history, but if you insist, of course " —acceding 
to Mr. Felton's half -uttered protest — '* you 
know she was unhappily married. It is a long 
story, but this is the summary: Her husband 
was a handsome, dissipated, fashionable young 
man about town, who neglected her shame- 
fully, and with gambling and carousals, was 
rapidly running through with her inheritance, 
originally a very large estate. Her friends 
persuaded her to leave him. The news that 
she had instituted proceedings for a divorce 
came to Blake suddenly. He rushed to her 
lawyer, a young man of great promise, and 
receiving no satisfaction shot him dead in his 
office, and then put a bullet through his own 
worthless brain. Blake's family, an influential 
one, is very bitter against his wife." 

Major Hillyer had spoken with considerable 
energy, though his voice was low and deep 
almost to gruffness. 



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66 ILtnntMtt Sftrtcfiw 

**Murder! Suicide!** Mr. Felton exclaimed, 
starting back as though he had received a 
blow. 

There was little else said. The major 
crushed the evening paper in his hand and 
threw it away^ and Mr. Felton looked out into 
the night, up at the stars, he even calculated 
how long it would take the moon to be lost 
behind the building across the way, and as he 
did so, the cigar slowly went out in his hand. 



II 



Congress had at last adjourned, and Mr. 
Felton and his niece were going home to Ten- 
nessee. Home did not mean much to Viola, 
she was to look upon new scenes, to meet new 
people. 

The evening before their departure, Carston 
came in much as usual, yet the visit did not 
seem the same to either him or Viola. She 
was going away, he was going away — ^their 
paths divided, the pleasant season together 
was over. 

**You go to-morrow?" he said. 

The parlor was running over with Mr. Fel- 
ton's books and boxes, so they sought refuge 
on the veranda. The moon was at the full. 



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Cte Mttattx from ^tnntMtt 67 

A fresh breeze swept down the street, hunted 
them out and made them glad of its com- 
ing. 

**Yes, by the morning train, Uncle Felton 
is impatient to get away.'* 

**And are you anxious to go?" 

He leaned forward that he might drink in 
more the beauty of her face. 

**I? no," she said, hurriedly, and was silent. 

**And I," he murmured, ** would be glad to 
stay just where we are, or anywhere, so we 
might be together. 

••—•And Thou 

Beside me singing in the wilderness, 
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow.* " 

Omar Khayyam's words came from him 
slowly, contemplatively. 

Viola trembled with excitement, but she 
looked out into the night and was conscious 
of the electric lights making stations in the 
streets and of the moon's pale insistence. 

**How beautiful you are," he said; **have 
many told you so, Viola? If not they have 
never seen the moonlight on your face, and in 
your hair." He put up his hand and touched 
the glistening sheen. ** There is witchery 
about it, or you have bewitched me." 

It was a supreme moment, but like so many 



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68 €tnnt^^$t Sftrtcfiw 

other supreme moments, they did not know. 
A band passed playing gayly in the street 
below. She was nervous and leaned over the 
railing to see it, and spoke of the music, of the 
old familiar airs, and the spell was partially 
broken. 

Then there came the sound of moving boxes 
in her uncle's rooms, and that gentleman's 
voice, coldly practical, giving instructions 
concerning them, and sending messages, two 
or three, to the office, to have his party called 
at an early hour the next morning. 

Mr. Felton was restless, and moved about 
aimlessly from room to room. He felt like 
hurrying Weston and Viola every moment, he 
declared to them more than once that they 
were sure to be left. 

**Ask Miss Felton if her baggage is in con- 
dition to be sent down to-night,** he said to the 
man who had taken his official documents and 
literature to be stored, and had returned to 
receive a liberal fee. This, too, despite 
Viola's assertion half an hour before that her 
trunks were not ready, but she would have 
them on time. 

Carston became discouraged, irritated. 
** There is no opportunity for conversation," 
he said, **I am going.** 

If the young girl was disappointed she gave 



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Cfie Mtrattx from ^tnntMtt 69 

no sign, and they stepped together through 
the open window into her uncle's parlor. 

** You are not leaving, Carston?** Mr. Felton 
asked, **I wish to discuss with you the advan- 
tages of this bill to our people." 

The young man looked weary. *'I am not 
equal to it to-night,** he replied; **in fact I 
am not hopeful of the result. These com- 
promise measures often fail all along the 
line.** 

**You are not well,** disappointed at the lack 
of interest that was more manifest in Carston *s 
manner than words, **are pulled down some, 
I think. You ought to get out of town. Do 
you go to-morrow?** 

**Not till the day following. I shall be still 
more anxious to leave when you all are gone. 
The city is getting like a furnace,** he smiled 
faintly, '*as the newspaper paragrapher says, 
* genius should take to the woods.* ** 

Mr. Felton laughed. *'That will make a 
city gentleman of you permanently, I fear. * * 

**I have been uneasy about it,** Carston 
retorted, **but have thought what a good time 
my friends are going to have. * * 

When the Feltons reached the station next 
morning the waiting rooms were crowded. 
Residents were leaving the city, seeking 
health and pleasure by the sea or in the moun- 



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70 ^tnntMtt Sbtttt1it» 

tains, and members of both houses of Congress 
were returning home to spend what was left 
of the summer with their constituents. There 
were knots of men in cheerful conversation ; 
there were hearty handshakings; and many 
good words and good wishes were uttered. 
An old member from the West came up and 
patted a very correctly appearing Bostonian 
upon the shoulder, and laughed gleefully over 
a point he thought he had scored on him, and 
the gentleman from Massachusetts seemed to 
enter fully into his spirit of merrymaking. 
There were apparently no party and no creed, 
they were all friends this morning, or school- 
boys off on an outing. As the Boston man 
left the member from Colorado he caught sight 
of Mr. Felton. 

**Come to the Senate, Felton," he said, **I 
do not think any of your people will do so 
well." 

**I shall try, but the woods down there are 
full of bigger men than I am." 

**I do not believe a word of it," and they 
parted. 

Carston saw Mr. Felton and his niece enter 
the station and waved to them over the heads 
of half a dozen men, and in his eagerness to 
get in closer proximity, stepped on the toe of 
a small boy, who sent up an unearthly howl. 



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Cije Mtxattx from ILtnntMn 71 

**I thought you would never come/* he said 
to Viola, reaching her side at last. 

**A gentleman detained uncle on business, 
and," smiling significantly, **we took a longer 
farewell of Mrs. Blake than I thought neces- 
sary. I am very sorry.'* 

He found her a seat and himself one beside 
her. But a railway station is a poor place for 
conversation; it is full of shifting scenes, of 
bathos, or pathos, of business, of pleasure, of 
necessity, of luxury, of rush, and push, and 
hurry ; while over all the humdrum, monotony 
of life sweeps like a current. 

**Only a few moments more,** Carston said, 
glancing vindictively at the great clock, **and 
I had hoped to talk with you, but there is no 
time for anything except to know that you are 
going. ** He rose to his feet, ** Your uncle and 
Weston are beckoning to us now,** he said. 

Almost on the instant came the call : 

**A11 aboard for Virginia, Tennessee, and 
Georgia.** 

Carston went with them to the car, helped 
to find their seats, then there was a hurried 
good-by, and he stood alone on the platform, 
and watched the train moving rapidly away. 

" Ah, love but a day 

And the world has changed, 
The sun*s away, 



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72 ^tnntMtt £)itetcfie0 

And the birds estranged; 
The wind has dropped, 

And the sky's deranged: 
Summer has stopped." 

In this city pre-eminently of change, how 
many good-bys have been said. 

People go off merrily or regretfully, and 
pass from the life they have loved, the friends 
they have enjoyed. New scenes, new thoughts, 
new duties fill up and make the future. So 
many pleasant faces fade from view, and some- 
times many uncongenial Ones are to the fore, 
that as environment is to life what color is to 
a picture, after a time the individuals are not 
the same at all. 

** Viola, come sit by the window," said Mr. 
Felton to his niece the morning of the second 
day's journey, **I want you to see the coun- 
try. This is Tennessee," he looked out upon 
the fields past which they were flying and his 
face glowed with pleasure. *'I like the ap- 
pearance of everything about the state." 

From Knoxville on, people he knew began 
getting on the train, and he was continually 
going into the day coach to talk with them. 
More than that when he saw a friend standing 
at the station he would hurry to the door to 
have a word with him. 

**It is like I was at home; I have heard all 



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^f)e Mtmitt from Cenne^^ee 73 

the news," he said to Weston; and later, 
"They tell me they have very promising 
crops," or "Old Mr. Meadows gave me a fine 
watermelon back there, Charley. We must 
have the porter cut it for us. I wish Viola to 
see how much better we raise them here than 
anywhere else.'* 

"I expect he got it from Georgia," a man 
across the car said with a laugh. This fellow- 
traveler, evidently not a Tennesseean, was 
much amused over Mr. Felton's enthusiasm. 

"No, it is Tennessee grown," was the reply, 
"and I insist that you try a piece," passing 
some of the ripe, pink heart to the traducer of 
his state. 

Charley Weston saw and understood his 
chief's elation — the latter had heard good 
news in regard to the legislative tickets. 

All the day coaches were crowded after they 
left Cowan, and Mr. Felton spent little time 
with his niece. Many politicians were on the 
train, going to the gubernatorial convention, 
and he w^s with them, hearing the state news, 
and the prospects of the several candidates. 
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ « 

The Felton homestead was a typical South- 
ern house of the old, ante-bellum style, built of 
brick and stucco. A broad, beautiful hall ran 
through the building, on either side of which 



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74 Cenne00ee Sbftttt^t^ 

were large rooms, whose high ceilings and 
many windows invited the breeze, and were 
sure of the draught. The porch extending 
across the front was supported by Corinthian 
columns, architecture very familiar to all in 
the Southland. This property had been sold 
for debt long ago, but as a matter of senti- 
ment, was bought back by the present propri- 
etor as soon as he could afford it. He became 
sad and retrospective at the thought of estab- 
lishing a home there now. But he said to 
Weston, **I see nothing else for me to do, as 
I may be here permanently and have Viola." 

*'This is a pleasant place for the summer 
time," he said to his niece as they stood 
together and looked out upon the lawn that 
stretched green and beautiful to the stone 
fence separating it from the turnpike. These 
stone fences, picturesque boundaries, wind 
here and there in long deviating ways through 
middle Tennessee ; they are a relic of the days 
when the people hastened slowly, and built 
dominated by the idea of stability. 

Yes, it was a pleasant place ; Viola listened 
to the wind as it swept in cadence through the 
great forest trees; she heard the mocking- 
bird's call from a wild grapevine that had 
completely submerged a tree near by; her eye 
swept onward over the beautiful Blue Grass 



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Cf)e Mtmin from Cntne00ee 75 

country, and she knew why the people loved 
it so. 

"Will it not be pleasant all the year?" she 
asked. 

*'I was speaking of the house," he replied; 
"I fear there will be too much draught for you 
in mid-winter, for myself I like fresh air, there 
is a sense of suffocation in heated halls, and 
over-heated rooms." 

*' Except for spoiling the beauty of the hall," 
Viola said, practically, '*a stove would be very 
comfortable." 

'*I should like a fireplace much better (Mr. 
Felton had all a Southern man's antipathy to 
a stove), but there is time enough for that." 

He turned and walked slowly through the 
hall and entered his study. He carried the 
morning mail in his hands, but he had looked 
it over on the porch and there seemed nothing 
in it of special interest to him. 

'*I suppose I must go to some of these 
places to which they invite me," he thought, 
slipping the cards back into some diminutive- 
sized envelopes and laying them aside. He 
placed his hand to his head. This social duty, 
as he considered it, had come to be a serious 
objection to his being a householder and hav- 
ing a niece in society. ** There has always 
been a good deal of gayety here in summer," 



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76 ^tnntMtt Sfertcfiw 

he took up the thought and went on reasoning 
it out to himself. '*It is just as it was when 
I was growing up— everybody has guests — 
house parties they call them now — and wants 
to entertain them," he smiled grimly, **and 
because of Viola, I must go and see it done." 

But the congressman was interested in other 
things ; he could not devote much time to this 
fol de rol, as he termed it. The nominee of 
his party for governor would be in the city 
within the next few days, and some fitting 
demonstration must be arranged in his honor. 
The committee waited on Mr. Felton and 
they agreed upon a torch-light procession, as 
large and enthusiastic as cotild be got to- 
gether, after which the candidate would speak 
at the opera house, and then there would fol- 
low an informal reception. 

**0f course, you will introduce our next 
governor," the chairman said, heartily. Mr. 
Felton agreed to this, then added: **We must 
have the occasion worthy of our guest and of 
ourselves. Our town should not fall one whit 
behind its old-time record when it shouted 
for Jackson, Polk, Bell, and the rest. Let 
us have a grand rally." 

The opera house was crowded to its utmost 
capacity. Upon the stage there were many 
flowers, and the arch above it was decorated 



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Cfie Mtmin from Cennest^ee 77 

with flags and bunting. In the audience sat 
many handsomely gowned women, their fans 
fluttering to and fro while they discussed 
politics and predicted the success of their can- 
didates. Strains of music came in through 
the open windows, and cheer upon cheer was 
heard from the procession carrying the trans- 
parencies and torches, and gradually massing 
about the building. Some of the most unique 
and amusing of the caricatures were brought 
in, and amid clapping of hands, placed in 
positions to be seen. 

Seated upon the stage were prominent citi- 
zens, the city officials, legislative candidates, 
and slightly to the front were Judge Justice, 
Mr. Felton, and the nominee for governor. 

The noise continued to roll in like the roar 
of a great swelling wave, and the clapping of 
hands and stamping of feet began ; the audi- 
ence were impatient with long waiting. 

In concluding his speech of introduction, 
Mr. Felton said he was reminded of a time 
more than twenty-five years before, when he 
and the party's nominee stood on the banks of 
the little river just outside their city and 
hurled stones into the waters below. ** *I do 
not desire a life of ephemeral beauty like that, * 
my friend said, pointing to the peaks of 
churned foam that caught and flashed back 



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78 Cenne00ee Sbtttt^t^ 

the sun's rays. *My ambition is to achieve 
something of benefit to the world, to become 
of service to the commonwealth my fathers 
helped to build.' The boy's dream is near 
fulfilment! After November it will be a 
reality." 

The reception that followed the speaking 
had been in progress more than half an hour, 
and Mr. Felton was looking about him for 
some means of escape. **I have been here long 
enough and no one will miss me." He edged 
his way gradually toward the door and had 
nearly reached it when Judge Justice's genial 
voice called him to the duties of the occasion. 

** Felton, you have not met my cousin. Miss 
Vane," he said, **and Margaret tells me she 
must know all the lions to-night. You were 
just running off," the judge added, with a 
laugh, **I see it in your eye." 

Mr. Felton responded cordially to the intro- 
duction, and mendaciously disclaimed all 
thought of leaving, no matter how long the 
handshaking continued. Then, he scarcely 
knew how it came about, he was soon mak- 
ing the circuit of the rooms with Miss Vane, 
and Judge Justice was back with the guest 
of honor. 

To his surprise he enjoyed the conversation 
that followed. His companion talked brill- 



vGooqIc 



Cfie Mtmitt from Etnntwtt 79 

iantly. She had informed herself upon poli- 
tics, was conversant with current literature, 
and, something rarely to be met with in so 
young a woman, knew the old standard au- 
thors. **A very fine girl," he mentally ejacu- 
lated more than once. Instinctively he felt 
that he did not make her appear old, she made 
him feel young. 

When they separated, he told her that their 
conversation had given him much pleasure. 
'*Come out and see Viola, stay some with 
her," he insisted in his cordial. Southern way. 
And Margaret Vane gladly accepted the invi- 
tation. 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

Mr. Felton was smoking his cigar on the 
front porch at home. He had just finished 
his breakfast and had pulled his light wooden 
chair so that his range could 'extend farthest 
over the grounds, he thought there were 
pretty shadows on the lawn in the morning. 
**Down there in the elm is where Jeff and I 
robbed the dove's nest," he remembered; 
**the poor bird gave such a mournful cry, I 
can almost hear it now. When mother knew of 
our sin she punished us," he laughed inwardly, 
**by not letting us go fishing for two days." 
He puffed away at his cigar. **And the rock 
spring house ! I've never got it to look like it 



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So ^tnntsiBtt £)itftc)e0 

did in mother's time. The water has never 
seemed so cool, nor the melons I put in it so 
good. The giant elm that grew over it has 
dwarfed and they all seem much nearer to the 
house. It used to take many steps, when my 
legs were short, to get there." 

Viola came out and drew her chair beside 
him. 

*' Uncle, I met a pleasant lady last night." 

Mr. Felton came back to the present regret- 
fully. 

**She seemed glad to know me, said she 
remembered mamma — and papa, too; she is 
related somehow, I believe; I did not quite 
understand the connection — I mean Mrs. 
Rans; she asked me to come to see her." 

**Ahem," Mr. Felton replied, slowly. **Yes, 
Mrs. Rans is your cousin." 

*'She is very attractive," Viola continued, 
with enthusiasm, **sad looking, I think. She 
must have been a beauty when she was young. ' ' 

'*I believe she was called so." He ex- 
tended his chin and drew his lips together 
firmly. 

*'I did not like Mr. Rans so well. He stuck 
out his hand and said, * How d'ye do,' and no 
more. As they left I heard him say to his 
wife, *Felton*s niece, eh?' " 

**And she said?" 



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Cf)e Mtmitx from CenneiS0ee 81 

**I did not hear her reply. Oh, he is not to 
be compared with Herbert and his mother." 

**Who is Herbert?" Mr. Felton was lean- 
ing forward. 

**Why, Herbert Rans, their only child. Do 
you not know him, Uncle Felton? He is a 
young lawyer, just back from Princeton, and 
very delicate. The poor fellow broke a blood 
vessel, or strained his chest in some way in a 
wrestling match at college. I want you to see 
him, you would like him, I think." 

The young girl failed to appreciate how dis- 
tasteful the conversation was to her listener. 

'*I do not want to know him, Viola," 
shortly; **I am sorry you have met any of 
them. The Ranses are miserable stock." 
He moved restlessly in his seat, the beauty, 
the color of the morning had gone. 

**Not Herbert," Viola declaried aggress- 
ively, **I know few people better than he, and 
his mother," she added. 

Mr. Felton gave a nervous, impatient ges- 
ture, and walked away. 

Of all those whom she had met, he thought, 
why had his niece settled upon Rans's son. 
He looked far away to the hills. This family 
seemed to be hounding his footsteps for evil, 
he clinched his fist, and he might not be 
through with it till the bitter end. 



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82 Cenne00ee Sftrtcftw 

Mr. Felton was a dreamer; but when aroused 
to the necessity for action no one was more 
practical, more aggressive, or more effective 
than he. He had heard the whistle of the 
train during his conversation with Viola, and 
now the boy brought him the Nashville papers. 
He read the ** American** through carefully, 
noting the dispatches, the general news, the 
trend of popular thought, and endeavored to 
estimate the strength of his party. He deter- 
minately kept his mind on the pages before 
him; he even informed himself as to the con- 
dition of the crops and the prospect of the 
farmers and stock raisers. About ten o'clock 
he ordered his horse and rode to town. 

Viola was much disturbed over what Mr. 
Felton said in regard to the Rans family. 
These old feuds, she decided, were very 
troublesome and unnecessary. With a pang 
she remembered her mother's having once 
said that her Uncle Felton was a good hater, 
relentless, bitter. 

The young girl had found Herbert Rans 
more attractive than any one whom she had 
met in the new home. He was handsome, 
with great gray eyes, deep and sad, rather 
scholarly, and thoroughly appreciative of her 
own fascinations — no one is dull whose taste 
is perfect! 



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C^e Mtmitx from EmntMtt 83 

And, despite her conscience-formed resolu- 
tions as to loyalty and duty, when he came to 
call upon her she welcomed him cordially. 

A fresh wind had sprung up and was singing 
a song in the trees ; great drifts of clouds were 
flying like white sails across the face of the 
moon. Down by the big gate the lawn was in 
deepest shadows, while on the rise of the 
grounds to the east there was a shifting light 
regulated by the clouds and the moon, now it 
was almost day, and again it became a wan, 
disturbing glow. This evening Viola was 
intensely sensitive to her surroundings. She 
had been so little used to the country that on 
such a night as this it awed and troubled her; 
her thoughts turned to things ghostly and 
uncanny. 

**I am glad to see you," she said to Her- 
bert, **I was lonely, oppressed by the shadows 
and the moon,** she pointed up the turnpike 
to a great, bold rock just off the road, that 
seemed lifted from the chasm below. About 
this there was a neighborhood ghost story. 
** Everything is so strange and weird that I 
almost fancy I can see old Spencer riding 
through the silver light.** 

*'I hope I may be able to chase the ghosts 
and shadows away,*' he replied, taking a seat 
by her side. **For myself, I like these sum- 



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84 Cmnejsjsee Sbkttt^tB 

mer nights, the rustle of the trees, the mock- 
ing-bird's note, and now and then the solemn 
hoot of the owl." 

**0h, the owls!" she cried, lifting her hands 
in horror, **they are terrible; one in that tree 
out there sometimes keeps me awake half the 
night. I have bribed the gardener to kill 
them all." 

Herbert laughed. 

'*How relentless you women are, you would 
destroy the whole race for a nervous tremor. ' * 

**Not that; but nature is so sentient, so 
teeming with life in the summer time that it 
oppresses one ; I see the continued bustle and 
struggle for existence, the strong warring on 
and living off the weak, all the way up the 
scale." 

**You are not pastoral, you do not appre- 
ciate the country," he said; **you may love 
nature in its height, in its gigantic effort, but 
the fields, the woods, are on too level a plane 
for you. And yet, there is nothing finer as a 
country than this ; it seems so to me — the cli- 
mate, the bold springs gushing from the rocks, 
the beautiful extended views, the fine horses, 
the people — everything, I like. It is God's 
land to me." 

**You all feel that way," Viola said; **my 
uncle does pre-eminently, and I would like 



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Cfte Mtmin from ^tnntMtt 85 

anything for his sake." This was said as a 
sop to her conscience. 

**Are you so fond of him, then?" 

**Yes, he is more to me than any one in the 
world." 

Herbert seemed somewhat disturbed. 

**I am sorry he was not returned to Con- 
gress." 

**Yes?" she said slowly, questioningly. 

He looked up quickly. 

**Why do you say yes in that way?" 

** Because he owes his defeat to your father. " 

There was a short silence between them, 
into which there entered the sound of horse's 
hoofs coming up the drive, and Viola knew 
her uncle or Charley Weston had returned. 

•*Only partially, I trust," he said finally, **I 
know father opposed him, I am sorry he did. • 
I regretted it before, he was a credit to the 
district, I do particularly since knowing you." 
As she did not reply, he added, **I was away 
at the time. Had I been at home, I might 
have influenced my father. They have never 
been friends, I do not know why." 

**They could never have been ; they are very 
different," Viola said, decidedly, and a little 
aggressively. 

"Yes — my father is a man of great worth, 
Miss Felton." 



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86 ^tnntMtt Sftetcf)ei5 

Viola seemed not inclined to reply. 

**I do not know him,** she said dryly. 

Herbert's face flushed. 

'*Do you mean to criticise my father to 
me?*' he demanded quickly; his voice showed 
decided irritation. **This is a free country, 
a man is at liberty to support whom he 
pleases, I know my father did what was right. * ' 

**You will excuse my not agreeing with 
you,** haughtily; **no one is right in my eyes 
who opposes my uncle. I did not know of 
this till recently.*' 

** Otherwise, I infer, I should not have the 
honor of your friendship. Do you propose to 
confine it to your uncle*s political followers?*' 
with a sneer. 

**Am I unreasonable in that?** she gasped. 

** You must decide for yourself. Good even- 
ing. Miss Felton.'* 

**Do not go like that,** she said, following 
him, and extending her hand; **we have been 
such friends — are such friends. * * 

He came back up the steps and took her 
hand. **Good-by,** he said, then catching the 
one that hung by her side, he driew them both 
to his face. For an instant the cool palms lay 
against his cheek, he pressed them to his lips, 
and turning went rapidly down the walk. 
Herbert did not stop to open the gate, but put 



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Cfje Mtmin from KtnntMtt 87 

his hands on the fence, and leaped over it as 
he used to do when he was strong and well. 
Once out on the turnpike, which looks so weird 
in the moonlight as it threads the country 
like a great artery, everything seemed freer 
to him. He threw back his head and shoulders, 
drew in a long breath, and walked on furi- 
ously. It was past twelve o'clock when he 
reached home, but his mother was up waiting 
for him. 

**What has kept you, my son?** she asked, 
anxiously, **you know how careful you should 
be." 

**I went to make a call, and then — I walked 
home — possibly I did not come the most 
direct route.'* His voice was tired, he 
looked weary and fagged out. 

* * You have been walking through the fields, * ' 
she said, in alarm, **your feet are wet with 
dew, and," going nearer, ** great beads of per- 
spiration are on your brpw. What is the mat- 
ter, Herbert?*' 

** Nothing,** he replied, wearily, **you are 
right, I am miserably tired. Mother, to-night 
a sort of recklessness seized me, I determined 
not to be an invalid any longer. I put my 
hand on the fence and vaulted over it. I felt 
strong as I used to feel. I started in my old 
swinging pace up the road, there was excite- 



vGooQle 



88 Cmnr00ee SitetcfieB 

ment, there was solace in it. I did not get 
far; this pain," laying his hand on his chest, 
'* struck me like a rifle ball, and I had to creep 
home slowly as best I could — that is why I am 
so late. Mother," desperately, **we may as 
well not cheat ourselves, I cannot be patient 
and get well. I want to be strong as other 
men, to be sick like a child, or a woman — it is 
terrible!*' He lay down on the lounge in the 
hall, and pressed his hand over his lungs. 

**You are out of spirits to-night, darling," 
she said, pushing back the hair from the beau- 
tiful brow so like her own, **this will help 
you," and she held a cordial to his lips. 
**You have overtaxed your strength, you will 
be your own brave self in the morning." 

She went with him to his room, arranged 
the pillows, shut off the draught, and made 
him as comfortable as possible. When he was 
nearly asleep, his mother sitting beside him, 
they were both startled by Mr. Rans's voice 
in the room. "Herbert is not sick, is he, 
Mary?" 

**He is very tired, and does not feel so 
well." 

Mr. Rans came up close beside her, and 
said, in a low whisper, **Any hemorrhage?" 

She shook her head. 

He looked relieved, then he put out his 



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C^e Member ftom "Etnnt^nn 89 

puffy Hand, and placed it on Herbert's brow. 
** Slight fever,** he said, **he must have the 
doctor in the morning. Do not fail to send for 
him, Mary. I might get him here to-night,** 
as Herbert moved restlessly. 

**I think it will not be necessary to-night, 
besides there is no one to send ; James is sick, 
and Jacob has gone to the campmeeting,** 
Mrs. Rans replied. 

**I can go myself. I should not mind going 
at all — I cannot sleep anyway." 

**You must not, father,** Herbert said, rous- 
ing himself, **I am better, decidedly so. I do 
not need anybody but mother. Go to bed, 
please.** As Mr. Rans hesitated, he added: 
'*You make me nervous.'* 

Rans obeyed, but once again during the 
night he put his bald head inside the door and 
asked how Herbert was. 

**His fever is higher, I think,** Mrs. Rans 
replied, a quiver in her voice, **and there is 
some blood.** 

Rans said no more, but gently closed the 
door. Possibly two hours later, when the 
first faint gray of the morning was seen in the 
east, Mrs. Rans heard steps on the stairs, and 
quietly opening the door was face to face with 
her husband and the doctor. Mr. Rans had 
walked, or run, all the way to town after him. 



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90 CennwBee Sferttfjw 

'*You must hurry,** he had said to the phy- 
sician, puffing and blowing as he spoke. 
** Herbert is very sick, and his mother is un- 
easy. ' ' 

Herbert was seriously ill for several days, 
then he got back to his usual state of semi- 
invalidism again. Once during his illness he 
said to his mother: 

**Why are not Mr. Felton and father 
friends?** 

Mrs. Rans was quiet for several moments : 

**It is an old story, my son," she passed her 

hand over her face, concealing it from him, 

**it began in their youth — they have never 

liked each other." 

« * * ♦ * 

It was Mr. Felton whom Viola had heard 
returning. As he rode up the drive he saw 
plainly Viola and her companion through the 
window, and involuntarily he started. **Mary 
Herbert's son," he muttered, jerking the bri- 
dle till his horse reared, '*the resemblance is 
striking, wonderful." He entered the house 
through the side door, going softly up the 
stairs to his own rooms. '*He has Mary's 
features,** he said, **and her smile.'* His 
apartments opened on the veranda above, and 
he went out upon it and smoked his cigar. 

He would think of something else, not of 



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C^e Mtmin from Cmnr00ee 91 

Mary Herbert, not of his youth. ** Margaret 

Varie is a very interesting, attractive girl," 

he told himself- '*I shall have Viola invite her 

to visit us. And I shall go to make those 

speeches down in Lauderdale, Tipton, Fayette, 

and Shelby. I wish the people to know me. 

I do not intend to retire to private life, and 

rust out with thinking." There were steps 

on the porch below, he glanced downward, the 

.young man was leaving. '*He has not the 

build of Rans," he muttered, looking after 

the visitor, a contemptuous sneer upon his 

face. 

* ♦ « * * 

**You have a very handsome place here, Mr. 
Felton." 

Margaret Vane was standing with the con- 
gressman on the front porch at Oakland. She 
was attempting to button a refractory glove 
as she spoke, and seeing her difficulty, he 
bent down and fastened it for her. 

**To me it is attractive," he answered, lift- 
ing a flushed face from his task — he did not 
remember to have performed a like service 
before; **then the association is pleasant," 
he broke off abruptly, **you will consider such 
things more as you grow older. * * 

She followed him down the broad steps to 
the drag standing before the door. 



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92 KmntMtt S&etcf)e0 

**Do not talk that way, you are not old, and 
do not feel so." 

**I do not feel old," he replied, brightening, 
**and this morning I positively am young.** 

They both laughed. 

**Come on, Viola! What is the matter, 
Charley?" he called, the natural impatience 
to start asserting itself. His niece and Wes- 
ton hurried out of the house and took the back 
seat. Then, with Margaret by his side, Mr. 
Felton gathered up the reins, and they were 
off. Once on the turnpike he turned the 
horses heads away from town. 

**Were you ever at a barbecue before?" he 
asked of his companion. 

*'No," she replied, **this is a perfectly 
new experience ; I am expecting a new sen- 
sation. " 

**It will come," Weston spoke from the 
back seat, **when you try some of the deli- 
cious barbecued meat." 

**No," Margaret replied, promptly, **it will 
come when I hear Mr. Felton speak." 

The congressman smiled down upon her. 
**You want to hear me, then?" 

*' Indeed, I do; that is the reason I came," 
she lowered her tones. **The rest is nothing 
to me." 

It was a beautiful morning, the air was 



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C^e fiHtmln from EtnntMtt 93 

cool, delicious; the forests were beginning to 
show yellow and crimson, and the sumach 
pushed its red head out from the sides of the 
road. Before they reached their destination the 
turnpike was full of vehicles of every descrip- 
tion, some of them were wagons, the people 
in them sitting in chairs, moving their slow 
lengths along; some were stylish drags and 
buggies; there were rock-aways, too, and 
several family carriages. Representatives 
from the whole congressional district were 
expected to be present. 

The speaking began early and continued till 
dinner time. Then the long trenches were 
uncovered and the savory meat taken out. 
The odor that filled the air might have tempt- 
ed the most delicate palate. 

*'This meat is delicious," Margaret said to 
Mr. Felton. **I had no idea I should so 
enjoy it." 

**0f course it is good," the congressman 
replied, **but there is much in the appetite we 
bring with us to these places." He seated 
himself beside her on the root of a forest tree. 
'*It is well for people to go out in the woods 
sometimes," he said, **to get away from con- 
ventions, not to have tables," he pointed to 
what looked like half a mile of tablecloth, and 
was a bolt of goods stretched out upon the- 



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94 Ceniie00ee Sbtttc^ta 

grass, **and take one's dinner from a tin plate, 
that might reflect a pretty face/' 

Margaret looked amused. 

'^I had not thought of the advantage I 
might derive from this," she said turning the 
tin so that the sun fell dazzlingly upon it. 

**And drink," he went on, ** lemonade made 
in a barrel, or a strong cup of black coffee, 
or go down to the spring and find water as 
pure as crystal and cold as the heart of the 
hills." He smiled, **and there is something 
stronger, to which the men claim the exclusive 
right." 

**Let. us try the spring," Margaret said, ris- 
ing to her feet. 

They went through the crowd, Mr. Felton 
stopping every few feet to shake the hand of 
an old friend or acquaintance. 

'*Here are some fine peaches, Mr. Felton," 
a young boy said, running up to him with a 
basket of almost perfect fruit, *'Mr. Richard 
Bridges sent them." 

** Where is Dick?" smiling into the face of 
the lad, ** thank him, please, and say that I 
want to see him after awhile. There he is 
now," Bridges was motioning to him from a 
little distance. ** Deliver him the message, 
my little man. Bridges is the nominee for the 
legislature from Dare County," Mr. Felton 



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C^e fi&tmin from ZtnntMtt 95 

explained to Margaret as the boy scampered 
away. "His father and I were at college 
together, and are great friends.** 

*'I know what it is to be a member of a 
politician's family for a day," Margaret said, 
examining her peach critically, **one receives 
so much attention.*' 

**You could not stand it longer?" Mr. Fel- 
ton looked down quickly into her face. 

She flushed crimson. He laughed. **We 
old fellows grow very ambitious sometimes. 
Beware." 

*'I thought you were not going to call your- 
self old any more,** she protested, recovering 
from her embarrassment. 

** Uncle!" Viola and Herbert Rans came 
swiftly down the path to the spring to meet 
them. 

Mr. Felton was handing a glass of water to 
Margaret and did not give his niece a very 
genial smile, and only nodded stiffly to her 
escort. 

**What is it?** he asked. 

Herbert spoke, ** Weston has just told me, 
Mr. Felton, that he will not return with your 
party this afternoon, and Miss Felton has con- 
sented to allow me to take her home in my 
trap— that is if the arrangement is satisfactory 
to you.'* 



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C^e fiBLtmhn from Ktnnt^^tt 97 

the personalities that are so pleasant to a man 
and maiden when they are young. 

Mr. Felton, with Margaret, drove rapidly 
homeward. All day the grays had been with- 
out harness, under the shade of a great tree, 
eating fodder, and they felt like going. With 
their heads turned side-wise they swept along, 
leaving all the vehicles and Viola and Herbert 
far behind. Mr. Felton knew that the horses 
were gaining in speed every moment, but the 
road was straight and level, so he suffered 
them to have their will. Besides he was anx- 
ious to make the eleven miles to town before 
sundown, and they were late in starting. 

** There is fine hunting over there," he said, 
pointing to an extended field of long grass 
they were passing. **Look at those birds, 
away yonder to the right. " He spoke quickly, 
his trained eye following the swift flight. 
Just then they were startled by the loud, whir- 
ring sound that all huntsmen love, and a large 
covey of partridges rose in the field near them 
and flew toward the road. On the instant 
there came two quick, sharp reports of a gun. 
It seemed fired at the heads of the horses. 
The grays swerved to the side of the road and 
bolted. Mr. Felton tried to hold them, but 
without success, they were off on a mad, terri- 
fied run. He kept them in the middle of the 



Digitized by CjOOQIC 



9$ KtnntMtt Sbkttt^tn 

turnpike and felt sure of getting them under 
control in good time, but talk to them, saw 
the reins, pull as he would, their speed and 
terror seemed to increase. He thought neither 
the drag nor horses could long stand the furi* 
ous pace at which they were going. 

Margaret had not spoken since the trouble 
began, a brighter color had come to her cheeks 
and a more intense glow into her eyes. As 
though fascinated, she watched the small 
heads of the frightened animals. 

The light vehicle swaying to one side and 
then the other, rushed onward over the road, 
now becoming rough and full of large un- 
broken pieces of stone. 

The congressman's face was very stern. **I 
reckon I have killed you," he said, looking 
for an instant into the young girl's eyes, 
** there seems no possibility of these devils 
running themselves down." 

He knew he must think rapidly ; there was 
the bridge over Lynton's Creek, scarcely half 
a mile away, something must be done before 
they reached there. 

He took the whip in his hand. ** Brace 
yourself for another shock, Margaret," he 
said, and brought it down with considerable 
force upon the flying horses. The grays 
unused to the lash, dashed forward. 



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C^e fiBitmhtt from ILtnnt^^tt 99 

"Whoa, Rex! steady, Rogan! Steady, 
steady, boys!" 

For the first time they seemed to hear him, 
their stiff necks slightly bent to his strong 
pull, their pace almost imperceptibly slack- 
ened. The consciousness ran like an intoxi- 
cant through his veins. Surely they were 
slowing down, were becoming manageable. 
It was true, the grays recognizing their mas- 
ter's hand on the reins, came back to reason 
and allowed themselves to be brought to a 
standstill. 

Mr. Feltonwent to their heads; ** Get out," 
he called to Margaret, and nothing loath she 
obeyed, trembling from head to foot when she 
found herself on solid ground. 

**You are sure you are not killed," he said, 
laughing as a boy might. 

**Very sure," she replied, **I was never 
more fully conscious of living." 

She laughed, too, and stood near him while 
he examined the harness and patted the horses 
into a hopeful state of docility. 

**Will you go on with me?" he asked at last. 

The young girl had little sense of personal 
fear, and there had come to her an exhilara- 
tion in the tremendous rush through the cool 
autumn air, with trees spinning past her as on 
a railroad train. All the time he was regard- 



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loo Cenne00fe SkrtcfjeB 

ing her with admiration, with genuine appro- 
bation. 

**Yes," she replied, "I see no other way to 
get there, and then,** looking up into his face, 
**I am not afraid, I can trust you.** 

The slight emphasis on the last word did 
not escape him. 

**You are a wonderful girl," he said, fer- 
vently. 

Without further trouble the grays, una- 
bashed by their disgraceful conduct, their 
heads held aloft, pranced over the dangerous 
bridge and carried their charge safely to Oak- 
land, whirling airily into the big gate, and 
drawing up with much style before the great 
front door. 

**You are a very wonderful young woman, 
Margaret,'* Mr. Felton repeated, as he assisted 
her out of the drag. Then, suddenly be- 
coming thoughtful, he followed her into the 
house. 

Herbert Rans and Viola came up the turn- 
pike near Oakland. He was driving slowly. 
**I do not want to keep up with Rex and 
Rogan,*' he had told her earlier. His father 
and mother passed them going in their family 
carriage from town. They all bowed, Mrs. 
Rans, leaning forward, smiled pleasantly. 

Archibald Rans's face darkened. 



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C^e fi&txaUt from KtnntMtt loi 

**I do not like that at all," looking back at 
Viola and Herbert with a scowl, **she is the 
only girl I ever see him with." 

**0h, no," his wife replied, *'he goes about 
a good deal." 

** Always in the same direction; I shall speak 
to him about this." 

** Please do not," she said, anxiously, "he 
has few pleasures, and we may not have him 
long." 

**Why do you say that," irritably, **he is 
getting better, is going to get well. And he 
has pleasure. Do I not give him everything 
I can — no man is kinder to his son — every- 
thing is open to him. He spent more in one 
year at college than I ever had in all my life 
till I made it. Did I say aught to him? No; 
but I shall speak to him about this, and set it 
down pretty squarely, too." 

**You have been generous, if generous be the 
word," she replied, her voice was always low 
and sweet, '*but do not make it a burdensome 
obligation to him now. Have you not felt 
grateful to have Herbert to expend your wealth 
and love upon? What we possess would be of 
little value without him. Did you ever think 
there are some things even better than 
money?" Her tones were a trifle reckless. 
"The fact that he is occasionally with some 



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I02 ILtnntMtt Sbfuttt^tfi 

one whom you do not like, gives you no right 
to wound him. You will not do it when it 
comes to the test; Herbert, I know, is first 
with you." 

"Yes, he is more in my eyes than any one 
except — " he made an embarrassed pause, 
"except you, Mary; nobody could ever be 
before you with me. But there are some 
things I will not stand even from him, he 
must let that girl alone ; neither she nor any 
of her people shall ever have a dime of my 
money.** 

'*I have no idea they want it; Herbert is 
attractive enough to be considered without 
his father's bank account. I should be sorry 
if what you fear were true, but I love him well 
enough to make any personal sacrifice for his 
happiness.** 

**You are so far different from me," he 

replied, getting out of the carriage, which had 

drawn up before the front door, and waiting 

to assist her. 

* ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

*'I have not told you of my entertainment," 
Viola said to Herbert. She did not add that 
she had put off this communication till they 
were nearly home. **It is to be given in Miss 
Vane*s honor, and uncle and I have a friend 
who will be with us. Come over and help 



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C^e fAtmUx ftom ^tnntHBtt 103 

Margaret and me — ^we are making all sorts of 
impossible plans," she spoke excitedly. 

He disregarded all but one portion of her 
communication : 

•*Who is your friend?" he asked. 

••Mr. Phillip Carston." 

•'The congressman?" 

He was watching her closely, and she grew 
nervous under his gaze. 

'*Yes, I knew him in Washington. He is a 
great favorite of my uncle." 

•'I have met him," Herbert said; '*he is 
considered a coming man politically, and is 
set down with the matrimonially eligible, 
which, I take it, is better than to be among 
the immortals." 

"I do not understand you," she replied, 
coldly; "he is a—" 

"All around good fellow, I have no doubt," 
interrupting her; "he was very kind to me in 
Washington. I was there with a cousin of 
his, we went over from college." He spoke 
indifferently, as one might of a man who had 
shown him a courtesy, but Viola noted that 
all enthusiasm had gone from him, and that 
the blue veins stood out like cords upon his 
temples. 



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I04 ZtnntBSitt Sbiittt^tfi 



III 

There were many Chinese lanterns dropping 
from wires and draped from tree to tree upon 
the grounds of Oakland, and the drive to the 
house was marked by great lamps with very 
bright reflectors. These were ready to be 
lighted at a moment's notice. 

All the town was coming to Viola's enter- 
tainment. For days she, Margaret, and Her- 
bert Rans had been arranging everything 
according to their fancy. The infinitesimal 
had grown to colossal importance, the placing 
of a vase, or the fall of a drapery was a sub- 
ject for serious thought. In the house flowers 
were planned to be put in every available 
space. The parlors were set apart for chrys- 
anthemums, the library for roses, and in the 
hall palms, century plants, and a great tree 
fern were to stand. 

**The chrysanthemums are for uncle and 
Margaret,**' Viola said, jestingly, to Herbert. 

**And the roses are for you and me," he 
replied, pleased and happy at the association. 

Mr. Felton looked on at the flutter of prepa- 
rations with an amused smile. Viola had said 
to him that she wanted to entertain Margaret, 
and he had consented gladly. The day before 



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C^e Mtmtn from ^mntHBtt 105 

the eventful evening he came to his niece with 
a look of alarm upon his usually non-committal 
face: 

•* Viola, child," he said, **I am afraid that 
you are not providing sufficiently for these 
people. Men have excellent appetites. I 
shall be mortified if there should be any — " 
he faltered for the proper word, ** anything like 
a lack of attention to this matter." He 
looked over helplessly at Margaret. "Why, 
my mothei' used to spend days, and have her 
friends assist her, just in baking the cakes — I 
see nothing of that sort going on here." 

** There is no cause for alarm, Mr. Felton," 
Margaret's eyes twinkled with merriment; 
"Viola has given the order, and stated the 
number of guests to a good caterer, and he 
will see that your friends are abundantly 
satisfied. As to the old-time cake-baking, 
like Molifere's doctor, we have changed all 
that." 

The congressman seemed much relieved. 
He took a seat beside her, and drawing some 
of the cedar she was making into wreaths 
through his fingers, said: **You and Viola 
must go in and talk with Mrs. Justice about 
the minutiae — " he glanced up half shyly, **we 
want everything in good — " he laughed — **Is 
not *style* the word?" 



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io6 ^tnntfifitt Sb^tt^ta 

*' Viola," Margaret called to the hostess in 
the next room, **we have been insulted again. 
Your respected uncle wants to turn this whole 
affair over to Cousin Alice." There came no 
response, and she smiled at her companion. 
**If it is of any comfort to you, I will say that 
the lady in question has had us well in hand 
from the beginning, and she and Cousin James 
are coming out to assist in receiving the 
guests." 

"That is just as it should be. Of course, I 
wish you and Viola always for ornament, for 
pleasure, but Mrs. Justice has had more ex- 
perience." 

With his elbow on the back of the settee 
upon which they sat, he watched, looking over 
her shoulder, the graceful fingers flying in and 
out among, and holding and tying the ever- 
greens. 

**How pretty your hands are," he said, tak- 
ing one of them in his own; **you will scratch, 
injure them at this rough work, I do not like 
to see you doing it." He turned over the 
palm, examining it pleasurably. 

*'No, it is not scratched," she said, **what 
you see is only the dust from the cedar." 

She looked up into his face, questioningly* 

**What is it?" he asked. 

**I cannot make wreaths so long as you hold 



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C^e fiUtmtn from ^tnntMtt 107 

my hand,'* she said, **and Viola and Herbert 
will be waiting for me." 

**Well, let them wait," lifting the finger tips 
to his lips, **let them make their own garlands 
and leave you to me." 

His niece's voice came to them from the 
next room. 

'*Now, Mr. Rans, tie that just there. If 
you are quick about it, I can hold the cedar 
in place." They were very near the door. 

Margaret went back to her work. 

Mr. Felton's brow darkened. 

'*You do not fancy Herbert?" she said in 
lowered tones. 

•*I scarcely know the young man," still 
looking over her shoulder and watching the 
now not very swift fingers, **his father and I 
are enemies." 

**They are very different; Herbert is like 
his mother, whose idol he is," she gathered 
the evergreens up in her lap and crossed her 
hands upon them. *'Why that lovely, refined 
woman could have married Mr. Rans is a 
mystery to me, but possibly it was for merce- 
nary motives." 

His eyes looked past her, through the win- 
dow, over the wheat fields, to a clump of forest 
trees where was once Mary Herbert's home. 

'*I do not think she married him for his 



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io8 Centif00ee Skfutt^tsi 

money," he said, very quietly. *'Let me 
move this seat for you," rising to his feet, 
*'or rather let me get some of these ropes of 
cedar out of your way, or better still," bend- 
ing over her and speaking persuasively, **Come 
for a walk. You have been sitting here a long 
time, and I have had very little of your 
society." 

She donned her jacket and hat and went 

with him. 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

Judge and Mrs. Justice, Miss Vane, Viola, 
and Phillip Carston were in the parlors 
promptly at eight o'clock. The host came 
somewhat later, having the air of a man who is 
trying to persuade himself that the occasion 
is one of pleasure. But Margaret had no 
thought of permitting him to be dull. She 
immediately went with him for a look of the 
long, beautiful rooms. She insisted that he 
admire the decorations, and finding a rosebud 
to her fancy, fastened it in his coat. Mr. 
Felton's face cleared, such attentions were 
new and very pleasant to him. In the light 
of the soft-toned lamps Margaret Vane ap- 
peared very beautiful, and her eyes were hazel, 
not gray to remind him of his youth. He 
admired her more than ever to-night. The 
evening gown became her well; and she was 



vGooqIc 



Ci^e fAtmttt ftom ^tnntMtt 109 

graceful, attractive, and of charming person- 
ality, he thought with a glow of pride that she 
would do her husband credit in any position 
to which he might attain. Some lines read 
long ago, had come into his mind before he 
left his room, they returned to him now: 

" When all things change about us 
Why persist in trying to fix fast forever 
That which of all things is the changefulest, 
A sentiment/* 

And the **Why not?" he had asked himself 
that evening with Mrs. Blake in Washington, 
returned to him now. **I am an old fool," 
he thought, and with a start realized that he 
had lost his companion's last remark. 

*'Sit here," she repeated, **and tell me what 
you think of this marriage of Viola's." 

**Have matters gone so far?" he asked, 
dully. 

**Yes, she and Mr. Carston admitted as 
much to me this morning, I believe you are to 
be interviewed upon the subject to-morrow." 

**I think," he said, answering her first ques- 
tion, **I shall be very lonely, Margaret; that 
I need some one to take her place, to enter 
into my heart — into my life." He placed his 
hand gently upon her shoulder, and regarded 
her earnestly, questioningly. 

There had been the sound of tuning musical 



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no Cenne00ee SbM^ta 

instruments for some time, now the full strong 
strains swept through the rooms and in upon 
them. The entertainment had begun. There 
came the noise of arrival in the hall, the hum 
of pleasant voices in the parlors, and still the 
band played on, the notes growing stronger, 
sweeter than before. 

" The waltz they played was woman's love, 
She stood and stroked her long, white glove.** 

**The guests are all here," she ventured, 
**we must go back to our places." 

He did not stir. "You have not answered 
my question," speaking firmly. He was a 
man who, when his mind was made up, recog^ 
nized no cause for delay. He was called a man 
of one idea and persistent. Some one had 
said of him that patiently finding the right and 
steadily keeping to it, had been the cause 
of his success in life. Good fortune had not 
come to him by brilliant leaps, not by bold 
dashes, it was the result of careful planning. 
Once blinded impulse, hate, recklessness had 
been his undoing, but only once. Gentle and 
tender-hearted at the bottom there were times 
when he was as inflexible as justice, as cold as 
steel, when no gentle emotion was permitted 
to find its way to his heart. No one doubted 
his honesty, or his courage ; and his closest 



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C^e fiSitmttt fcom J^tnntBBtt m 

friends and supporters knew that while he 
gave them perfect loyalty, the same must be 
rendered to him in return. This quality of 
his nature must have communicated itself to 
the young girl, for her answer was direct and 
unwavering. 

**No, but I shall later." 

They met Herbert Rans in the hall. The 
young man had an amused, significant smile 
upon his face that was lost on Mr. Felton, but 
brought the crimson dye surging to Mar- 
garet's temples. 

** Where have you been?*' he said, joining 
her while the congressman passed on before 
them to the receiving party. **Miss Felton 
has had me looking for you everywhere; we 
feared you had eloped with the brave and 
reverend senior." 

The guests were coming in rapidly, crowd- 
ing the staircase and front of the hall, their 
jests and laughter rising in waves of sound. 

Margaret was too much afraid that Her- 
bert's remarks would be overheard to resent 
them. 

**Hush," she said, peremptorily, **I am 
not so punctual as Viola. One wastes much 
time when one is. I dare say," making a 
defensive rally, *'the roses you sent her are 
withered ere this." 



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112 Cnttie00ee Sb^ttt'^tB 

**Not more so than the ones you carry/* 
His quick laugh did not decrease her discom- 
fiture. 

**That music is divine," leaving off teasing 
and speaking heartily; *'I wish I might waltz 
it out with you." 

**I think you reminded me that my duty was 
here," she answered. He did not fail to note 
the excitement and elation of her manner, 
**but, you may come for me later." 

**Then do not forget," giving place to some 
one, *'I can only dance a few times; I prom- 
ised mother to be careful." 

Phillip Carston stood to one side watching 
the new faces about him. After the much 
introducing and the more conversation that 
he had gone through with, he was taking a 
breathing time; and longed earnestly to get 
away somewhere to smoke a cigar. **It was 
good in Viola to have all the town out while 
I am here," he commented, **but I would have 
forgiven her had she neglected this delicate 
bit of attention." He laughed inwardly, the 
situation was diverting to him. He had come 
hundreds of miles to see her, and only her, 
and here he was making himself generally 
agreeable and being frowned upon by this 
handsome young Rans. "Poor fellow, he is 
pretty hard hit. He did not think I saw the 



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C^e Mtmtn Uom ^tnntBBtt 113 

scowl upon his face when Viola and I were 
together half an hour ago, but I did. Ah!" 

The self gratulation was brought to an 
abrupt standstill. 

Viola was in the doorway glancing around 
as though anxious to see how the entertain- 
ment was passing off. She saw Carston seem- 
ingly happy and content, but Herbert was 
stationed back of the newel post, his shapely 
head almost lost in the decorations he had 
helped to arrange on the railing above. He 
looked gloomy, troubled, and evidently was 
making no effort to conceal the fact. Faces 
are masks, so it is said, but to some people it 
is a comfort, a necessity to let their thoughts, 
their dominant feeling shine out boldly, exult- 
antly through them. 

"What is the matter?" Viola called to him, 
gayly. 

His whole countenance brightened. * * Noth- 
ing," crossing quickly to her, **only I have 
not seen you for almost a hundred years." 

They moved away together. 

"I have been here all the evening," she 
answered, laughing. 

*'I know," he agreed, '*but you have been 
to me as the will-o'-the-wisp, or ignis /atuus, 
impossible to reach." 

She spoke lightly : 



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114 Cenne00ee S/tttt^tB 

**And when I am found?" 

**I rejoice more than over the ninety and 
nine that went not astray, ' ' he retorted. * ' Let 
me find a seat somewhere, not on the veranda, 
you were there with Carston, and tell me of 
yourself, of your friend, who has come like a 
meteor, I might say like a thunder bolt, into 
our midst." He spoke flippantly, but she had 
learned to know his moods too well hot to see 
that he was terribly in earnest. 

** There is little to tell," she replied care- 
lessly, *'a friend of my uncle, a friend of my 
own is with us." 

*'No, happy, successful lives have no his- 
tory," he pulled the flower from his coat and 
threw it away. 

*'What have I done now?" she asked in 
feigned dismay, "I fear you will be sorry you 
found me." 

"I am cross and out of spirits, I suppose," 
he said. "What a bore you must think me." 

"No, I do not, but I believe I am better 
tempered than you are, Herbert." 

He started and looked at her quickly; it 
was the first time she had called him by his 
christian name. His spirits rose in an instant. 

"A great deal better in every way," he 
said, heartily, "I sometimes think you haven't 
a fault." 



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Ci^e fUtmtn ftom Cenne^dee 115 

'*That is only sometimes,'* she replied. 
Her pretty shoulders went up in a very dis- 
claiming shrug. 

**That sometimes is to-night, and always,** 
he declared, earnestly, so earnestly that Viola 
looked alarmed. But she gave him a bright 
smile. *'No, I am only occasionally perfect, 
and then solely in the eyes of such dear friends 
as yourself,** she was moving away. ** There, 
they are going — Uncle Felton is beckoning to 
me. 

**How do you like Margaret Vane?" he 
asked, detaining her. 

Viola hesitated: **I like her,** she said, 
"Margaret is very brilliant, very attractive." 
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

**Your young friend, Rans, is in love with 
you, Viola,** Carston said to her when all had 
gone. The words were not cheerful, and 
there was a challenge in his voice. 

**I hope not — I think not,** she spoke ear- 
nestly. **He is a dear, good fellow — I am fond 
of him.** 

**Humph!*' 

**Not too fond,** laughing joyously, **I 
verily believe you could be jealous.** 

Then she bade him goodnight and went 
with Margaret Vane up the stairs. 

"The party was a great success, Viola,** 



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ii6 Cenne00ee Sitetc$e0 

Margaret said, but neither of them was think- 
ing of the entertainment. 
The next morning Carston spoke to Mr. 

Felton. 

« « ♦ ♦ ♦ 

Weeks and even months passed rapidly 
enough ; the beautiful fall days lingered as a 
benediction, the Indian summer, wistful and 
dreamy, swept spirit clouds across the sky. 
The grain ripened and fell golden and plente- 
ous ; the partridges were heard like pipe-notes 
in the fields. There was not the languor, the 
exultation, the promise of the spring time, but 
rather the peace, the calm, the fulfilment of 
all things. And winter followed gradually, 
seeming to approach by parallel lines. Frost 
showed its face, crisp and white, in the early 
morning; chestnuts opened their rough burs 
invitingly, and the squirrels were all animation 
in the tree tops. Then the ground began to 
freeze, and once great snowflakes fell to dis- 
appear with the sunlight The people of the 
village had returned to quiet ways and winter 
habits. 

Congress was in session again and Mr. Felton 
sat patiently in his seat in the House. ** There 
is no use in your going on till after the holi- 
days," he had said to Viola. *'I shall return 
at that time and take you back with me. 



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C(f Mtmtn ftom lltnntsifitt 117 

Cousin Janie Barton has promised to stay with 
you while I am away." 

Viola assented, well pleased. Cousin Janie 
was the dearest, kindest old lady in the world, 
and besides she preferred not to go to Wash- 
ington till the first of January. She desired 
to experience a Southern Christmas, to be in 
her own home during one, to decorate with 
holly and mistletoe, and preside over the 
famous Christmas dinner. 

Great logs blazed at Oakland. Viola had 
never seen such pretty wood fires before, nor 
such pretty andirons, standing very tall, as 
sentinels or knights in armor, guarding the 
cavernous chimney-place, and reflecting the 
light, or making faces at the fire, or frowning 
down upon it in a superior autocratic way 
when it smoldered or died. **Ye logs are for 
our pleasure," they seemed to say. **Day 
after day great piles are brought from your for- 
est to be consumed before us. But we remain 
unchanged. From our fixed station we have 
seen generations smile and suffer and pass; 
have watched tears, and known when a high 
degree of happiness was felt in the old home- 
stead. We have heard a widowed mother's 
advice to her two boys, have known when 
poverty stretched its gaunt hand over the 
house, and when we were passing into the 



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ii8 tlLtnntBBtt SftetcfieiEJ 

possession of aliens. And we have flashed a 
swift, continuous joy since returning to our 
rightful master. If the ghost of fires long 
dead should come back they would say that 
we are sweeter tempered than we used to be. 
They might claim that it is the mellowness of 
age, but our strong hearts are untouched by 
time. We would tell them that it is the joy 
of once more reflecting the firelight of our 
own people, their children's children." 

Many fantastic thoughts, as these, came into 
the young girl's mind as she sat alone before 
the great blazing logs. She imagined they 
would like to speak to her of the past. She 
saw pictures in the coals of a youth and a 
sweet-faced woman, who were, she knew, her 
father and her grandmother. Try as she 
would her own mother's face did not shine 
forth from the Felton's fire's heart. 

Once seemingly far in the past there ap- 
peared a charming, girlish figure. It was 
almost too far away for recognition, and the 
boy beside it was not Viola's father. She 
glanced up at the portrait of two lads above 
the mantel, and the features she saw in the 
fire and those of the younger face were the 
same. The maiden now turned her head. 
Viola looked more closely, the picture was 
like Herbert Rans; she started forward. 



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C(e Mtmltt from Cennestsef 119 

she was surely gazing upon his mother when 
a girl. 

Viola's brain was very full of thought, of 
conjecture. She put her hand over her eyes, 
they were stiff and swollen from long gazing 
in the fire's depths. 

Aunt Dilsey's (one of the old Felton serv- 
ants) words came to her, '*In dem days, young 
Mistiss, Miss Mary Harbut was wid us lik' 
one o' de fambly." Then again, **No, Miss 
Vola, yo* pa, Marse Jeff, warn marri'd till ole 
Miss haid been dead putty nigh er year." 
Viola had gathered together a good deal of 
family history these past few weeks. The old 
servants were coming up to remind Mr. Fel- 
ton of their existence, and that they expected 
to receive their full share in the annual gift- 
making. **My poo* Phil aint got no work," 
Aunt Dilsey said, **an he wife an* chillen is 
dat poo* I cries erbout *em constant. Tell 
Marse Felton 'bout dyah condition, youn* 
Mistiss. He sho ter do some*in* er urrer. 
Tell *im ole Dilsey say ter hope *em. '* 

In the absence of her uncle, Viola had to 
hear their requests, troubles, and reminis- 
cences, too, of the old days **whin ole Miss 
was so good ter *em dat dey never wan* fur 
nothin*.** So, from a word here and there, 
she had gradually understood the situation and 



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I20 Cenne00ff SbM^ta 

motive and had become ^n rc^pport with the 
condition of things about her. 

This afternoon she held a book in her hand, 
but the pages possessed no interest for her. 
What is the use for other people's thoughts 
when our own are crowding, tripping over 
one another, each separately demanding the 
field. But now Herbert Rans secured the 
position of vantage. He was looking pale, 
she thought, and his eyes were sunken and 
gave forth an expression of settled discon- 
tent. Viola had not seen him recently, and 
wondered at the cause of his absence. If 
there were any twinges of conscience in regard 
to Herbert she was but dimly conscious of 
them. Her thoughts were not pleasant, how- 
ever, so she left her seat and went into the 
hall. 

James was just receiving some one at the 
door, and that some one she saw with a 
rush of pleasure, was the young man of her 
thought. 

'*Where have you been?" she asked, when 
they were comfortably seated and had com- 
mented upon the weather. This seemingly 
necessary adjunct of conversation being gone 
through with, they were ready for something 
of interest. ' ' I did not know what had become 
of you." 



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C^t Mttaln from Cenne00ff 121 

She was genuinely glad to see him and he 
brightened somewhat at her welcome. But 
he answered: 

"Been ill, of course," gloomily, **worse 
than usual this time." 

**I was afraid as much and I am sorry," she 
spoke gently, she could see that what he said 
was true, his face was marked with lines of 
suffering. 

**I wish you were more careful, Herbert." 
She called him Herbert now. 

** There is no use," he replied, **I have tried 
for mother's sake," his voice lowered, **and 
for yours — but I shall never be well, only drag 
on a few more useless years of pain. And I 
am so eager for the conflict," starting up; **I 
have sometimes thought I might get well — " 
he looked at her wistfully; **if the impossible 
would happen." He gave a hoarse laugh. 

**You are better now, do not worry," she 
said, almost tenderly, **none of us have any- 
thing but the present." 

**Yes, you have hope." His great cavern- 
ous eyes sought her own dumbly. She moved 
restlessly under his gaze. Why would he talk 
like this and make them both miserable. But 
she must do something to put him on a better 
footing with life. 

**Christmas is almost here," she said, chang- 



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122 €tnntsifitt Sblnttt'^tB 

ing the subject abruptly, **I begin to feel it in 
the air." 

**What is it going to bring you?** eying her 
curiously. 

**A happy, pleasant season, I trust — to us 
both.** Somehow she felt very sorry for him 
this evening. 

**Not to me, you will be going away when 
it is over.** 

They were both silent, then she said : 

**The session is short.'* 

He did not reply, he felt in no mood for 
conversation, and in no spirit to help to make 
it. He was dissatisfied with himself, angry 
with Viola, and disgusted with the world. 
He thought he would like to hurt some one, 
to vent his fury somewhere, to crush, stamp 
out life, to be cruel, mean. Frail and deli- 
cate as he was he could have rushed at an 
antagonist with the fierceness of a tiger. 

'*I have had an experience this afternoon,*' 
she said; **I believe all the ghosts of Oakland 
have shaped themselves in that fire,*' pointing 
to it. *' There I have studied bits of family 
history, caught glimpses of a vanished ro- 
mance. And,*' laughing lightly, ** possibly 
following the line of heredity, I was thinking 
of you after the fire vision passed. 

He neither smiled nor seemed amused at 



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C(e Mtmln ttnm Ztnntufin 123 

what she said. ** Perhaps I am to be another 
added to your ghostly company. * ' All at once 
he threw back his head and spoke under excite- 
ment: **I was in town this morning and heard 
that you were expecting a visitor for the Christ- 
mas — . Why did you not tell me yourself?" 

Her face flushed. 

**I have not seen you for days, you remem- 
ber." 

**But you knew he was coming when we last 
met, Viola!" starting up suddenly and clutch- 
ing her arm. **I am afraid you will marry 
him, and I believe it will kill me." He spoke 
fiercely, his wild, blood-shot eyes burning into 
her own. 

Viola was frightened. **0h, Herbert^ you 
hurt me, you distress me," she cried. "What 
is it you are saying? Sit down and I will tell 
you anything I know. * ' 

He sank back into his seat. 

**Do not marry him, Viola! He is stern and 
cold — he could never love you as I do. Put 
aside your own ambition, your uncle*s dislike 
for us, and be my wife. You do not love 
him." He was very pale; his face he tried to 
hold firm, but the lips would tremble. He 
was young, just a boy, younger than his years, 
and he was sick. 

** Hush, Herbert," Viola said, ** you must 



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124 Ztnntsifitt Sbltttt'^tfi 

not, you shall not, talk so; it is madness. 
You are my friend, my dear friend; you 
should have had my confidence earlier, you 
shall have it now." 

**I am not your friend — we are not friends," 
he said, **you know it — have known it all the 
time. And I do not want your confidence. 
Give it to Margaret Vane, to Charley Weston, 
to whom you will, but not to me. I will not 
have it." He strode toward the door. 

**You are making me miserable," she said, 
rising and taking a step forward, **do not be 
angry with me, Herbert." 

She threw her softest intonations into the 
words. 

**That matters little now, I think," he 
replied, **and I shall not trouble you with 
what you are pleased to term our friendship 
any more — something circumscribed to the 
limits of your uncle's prejudice. By all means 
please the old gentleman — his nature is so 
genial, so tractable, so winning, it should be 
rewarded." He laughed scornfully. He was 
standing in the door, and as he finished speak- 
ing, went out closing it behind him. 

Viola, from a station by the window, watched 
him as he went slowly down the walk to the 
gate. He looked so thin, so frail ; there was 
a heavy wind at the time, and his body seemed 



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C(f Mtmtn fcom Cenne00ff 125 

to sway in it like a tender tree, or an exotic 
that should be shielded from the storm. She 
could see the profile very white and stern, the 
brown hair that waved back from the pallid 
brow, then turning suddenly away, she threw 
herself into a chair, and she did not know 

why, but she wept. 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

The holiday season brought Phillip Carston 
again to Oakland. What before was conjec- 
ture then became certainty, he would surely be 
married to Viola Felton. The gossips had it 
at their tongue's end, some thought it a 
** lovely match," others felt sorry for '* poor 
Herbert Rans," but they added, '* Herbert's 
suit was out of the question from the begin- 
ning, her uncle would never have tolerated 
such a thing, and Mr. Felton is a man not to 
be trifled with." There were whispers, too, 
vague and indefinite, that the congressman 
himself was thinking of other matters than 
politics ; that henceforth Washington and am- 
bition would fail to charm him unless shared 
with Margaret Vane. And Margaret laughed 
and jested and was gayer, brighter, and hand- 
somer than ever before. 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

**I am uneasy about our friend, Mrs. Blake," 
Weston said, breezily, to Viola. **I was pick- 



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126 Etnntwtt Sftetc^fd 

ing her for a winner until this dark-eyed maiden 
entered the lists. I've never known a widow 
distanced before. My chief did not seem 
nearly so sentimentally disposed toward her 
this winter, though I have never seen her 
more ravishingly fetching, and poetic, or seem- 
ingly better prepared to be a very attentive 
listener.** 

At dinner he had a communication to make 
to them, and went about it after his own 
fashion. In an animated way, giving his 
remark a distinct importance, he said: '*Miss 
Vane is in town again ; I had a delightful chat 
with her on the street to-day. Charming 
girl!'' 

Mr. Felton's expression was an approval. 
**Yes, I saw her, too," looking up with inter- 
est from his soup, **and, Viola, I told her you 
would claim a part of her visit." 
, The Christmas came and went. Joyously 
the merry bells rang, as so many Christmas 
bells have rung, as so many Christmas bells 
will ring. This is the day that has gathered 
the most sunshine of all the days. It is the 
day that brings out the best feeling; that 
takes the world back to love, to friendship, to 
cheerfulness, to infinite toleration. It is filled 
with the fireworks, the presents, the raillery, 
the merry laugh, the egg-nog, the innocent 



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C^t Member ftom ILtntitBUtt 127 

mirth of childhood, the mellowed bonhomie 
of later years. 

Oh, the Christmases that have come and 
gone! Oh, the Christmases that will come 
and go! 

**Can Uncle Felton be in love with Marga- 
ret?" Viola asked of Carston in an awed whis- 
per. **I never looked upon the matter 
seriously until yesterday morning when we 
were all so merry over the egg-nog." 

Carston was too busy with his own aflfairs 
to give the matter much consideration.. He 
was with Viola, the day was fine. They had 
thrown up the window and were standing in 
it — the world seemed at peace with him and 
with itself. 

**I do not know," he said, and then added 
with a laugh, **My distinguished friend does 
seem a rare prize for any woman to take in 
charge." 

**Oh, yes," she agreed, too serious herself 
to see that he spoke in jest. 

**Jake! Jake!" Mr. Felton's voice came dis- 
tinct and clear to them from the road, and a 
negro urchin was seen flying through the trees 
to the gate, which swung open as by magic. 

**Here they are," Viola said just as her 
uncle and Margaret Vane in a high-top buggy, 
and driving splendid thorough-bred horses 



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138 lltnntMtt Sbkttt'^tfi 

dashed into the lawn and around the drive to 
the house. 

Mr. Felton's arm was in a sling, caused by 
the falling of a window in the railway coach 
coming home from Washington, and Margaret 
had driven him into town. She held the reins 
as one who had guided spirited horses all her 
life. 

**It would never happen," Viola said, 
watching them, a shadow on her face, **if I 
were not going to be married." 

**We will not give up our marriage on that 
account," her companion replied, hotly. 

* * We have had a glorious drive. * ' Margaret 
was full of enthusiasm and animation, smiles 
rippled about her pretty mouth, and the exhila- 
ration of rapid motion showed itself in the 
flashes from her eyes and the bright color in 
her full, beautifully rounded cheeks. She 
crossed the porch and came and stood by the 
window in front of Viola and Carston. 

**The new horses are splendid," she con- 
tinued, resting her parasol on the window 
frame. **Mr. Felton," glancing back at him, 
**I think I never saw animals better matched 
in appearance, speed, and step." 

**Come and take a look at them," Mr. Fel- 
ton called to Carston, **come all of you," he 
added. 



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Cj^e Mtmtn fmnt Cenne00ee 129 

And the three trooped out to give their opin- 
ion of the new purchase. The happy propri- 
etor pointed out to them all the strong points 
of the thoroughbreds, examining and com- 
menting upon, with the appreciation of a con- 
noisseur, the splendid descendants of Elec- 
tioneer. 

**And Miss Vane likes them, which fact 
pleases me very much,** he continued, looking 
up with a genial smile that was meant for 
Margaret. **I did not wish to drive her 
behind the grays again.'* 

Margaret's attitude in regard to Mr. Felton's 
candidacy for the Senate was very gratifying 
to him. Possessing a distinct taste for poli- 
tics, she mastered his speeches and discussed 
them with great intelligence. She read all the 
compliments to him in the newspapers — the 
state press was full of his praise — and spoke 
of them at the most opportune moments. The 
incense she offered was subtle and charming 
to this man who had seen little of social life ; 
and no man, no matter how much he has 
mixed in it, ever gets beyond the fascination 
of appreciation. The personal element is 
always attractive, and why should it not be 
so? The impression that one receives may 
not be lasting, it may not be the strongest and 
best, but it is pleasant for the time. The 



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I30 Cenne00re Sftetc^f^ 

interest puts one in a good humor with one's 

self, and the reflex action redounds to the 

credit of the person who has created it. 
***** 

**Will you not go down to the state capital 
to-morrow, Mr. Felton? Many of your friends 
went to-day," Charley Weston stood on the 
hearth-rug, his legs very wide apart, facing 
the congressman. 

The new year had begun. A new legisla- 
ture had assembled at the state house, the new 
governor was to be sworn in, and a new sena- 
tor was about to be elected. Weston was fully 
alive to the importance of the occasion, and 
was reasonably confident of success, but on 
the eve of any crisis there is excitement. 
Then he had been confident before, and now 
did not trust implicitly in his own judgment, 
nor the judgment of his chief's closest friends. 

**I think not, Charley, yet if I thought I 
could be of service — " 

Weston interrupted him: **0f course you 
could do good. There is nothing like being 
on the ground. Your influence over men is 
wonderful, and you could show us where the 
wires should be pulled the hardest. We will 
win this time," he went on, cheerfully. **The 
legislature is after my own heart." 

Mr. Felton was grave and thoughtful. **I 



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Cfie Mtmtn ftont Htntitufitt 131 

am very doubtful about the result; no one can 
tell what any body of men will do." He rose 
to his feet, a shrewd, masterful expression 
coming suddenly into his face. **You know 
my friends, Charley,'* resting his resolute eye 
upon the young man and gesturing with his 
forefinger, ** those we can rely upon, see them 
and have them strike, my boy, to win. I can- 
not afford to be defeated. It would be my 
political death warrant." He turned and 
looked out of the window for a moment. **I 
would rather," coming back to the secretary, 
**my election should go through without my 
presence there, but if it is necessary telegraph 
me, and I will come." 

'•All right, Mr. Felton. Good-by." 
They shook hands, and Charley Weston 
went, whistling **Annie Laurie" all the way to 
town. 

The congressman was very restless after his 
secretary had gone. He could not compose 
himself to write, nothing suited him, his papers 
were all awry, his books piled up in the wrong 
places. He wondered why Viola did not come 
to arrange his desk, then remembered that she 
had gone to spend the day with Mrs. Justice. 
**I did not think her mother's daughter could 
have so wound herself about my heart," he 
said aloud. **I wish she would not be mar- 



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132 ^tnntMtt S>ftrtcf)w 

ried, but I like Carston. Pshaw ! * * He turned 
away, and wandered about the library hunt- 
ing for things aimlessly, and could not find 
them. He thought of going for a walk, but 
the day was gray and overcast, the air chill. 
He decided not to go to town ; there would be 
too many political questions discussed, and too 
many conjectures vouchsafed not to jar upon 
his overwrought sensibilities. **When I get 
old, will I be content to sit here and read?" 
he thought. The possibility caused him to 
start to his feet. * * No, I would rather die in the 
harness. Yes," meditatively, **I shall go to 
the state capital to-morrow." Then without 
any apparent relevancy he repeated twice the 
name of Margaret Vane. 

He was still seated at his writing table, 
maybe looking backward, maybe following 
the uncertain workings of the legislature, 
maybe dwelling upon a belated love dream. 
His study door opened. 

**Dyah's a lady in de parlor 'sires ter see 
yo', Marse Felton," James, the butler, said. 

Mr. Felton looked annoyed. 

*'I told her Miss Felton was erway, but she 
say she warn speak ter you, sur," and he laid 
a card upon the table. 

**Very well, show her in," without glancing 
at it. 



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Cj^e fiBimtn from Cennnfietee 133 

James went out, and soon returned ushering 
in the visitor. 

Mr. Felton arose to his feet — ^but there must 
be some mistake, something the matter with 
his eyes, with the light, for it could not be 
Mary Herbert, Mrs. Rans, who stood before 
him. He passed his hand across his eyes to 
clear the vision, then, seeing that it was indeed 
she, he bowed profoundly. 

**Will you not have a chair, madam?" he said 
quietly. She took the seat he wheeled for- 
ward for her. 

**I know you are at a loss to conjecture the 
purport of my visit," she said, a tremor of 
excitement in the low, sweet voice; **you 
must know, I feel sure, the effort it has cost 
me. 

Mr. Felton made a deprecatory gesture. 

**I beg to assure Mrs. Rans that in any way 
possible I shall be glad to serve her." 

**I am not sure of that," she replied, **yet 
I have come to you to speak to the nobler, 
better instincts of your nature; not to the 
sordid, vindictive man you have become." 

He started forward. ** Strong words, 
madam, but you are exercising a woman's 
prerogative." 

'* Strong words, yes, and harder because 
they are true. " 



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134 ^tnntB^n SbttttlftB 

**Why do you believe such things of me? I 
have been forbearing to you and yours." 

For the first time he threw back his head 
and looked at her long and earnestly; his eyes 
had not voluntarily sought her own since they 
were young together. He saw a slight, even 
now beautiful woman, clad in gray; the eyes 
were grayer than the dress, the hair was 
lighter than the eyes. You have seen a gray 
day by the sea, when water, and sky, and 
everything are the same; when the wind 
refuses to roar, and the ocean strikes with a 
muffled beat — a calm. So it seemed with this 
woman, her eyes were the grave, gray ocean — 
stilled. 

'*If I thought so, I should not be here now, " 
she said, *'and I came not to ask a favor, but 
to demand a right," the calm of her nature 
was broken. **It has come to me like a reve- 
lation, suddenly, painfully, that you would 
make the past stand between my son and hap- 
piness; that you would strike the mother 
through her child. I thought too much of 
your old, fair-minded, independent spirit 
remained for that." 

**I do not understand;" he said dimly, '*but 
I am not the man you used to know, Mary." 

She started. **Nor am I the woman." 

** Twenty-five years is a strong pull upon the 



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Cfie fiBitmhn ftom Cenne^ietee 135 

best of us," he said, leaning forward, his face 
flushed. "What have I done to harm your 
son?" 

"'You have robbed him of the best that is in 
life; you have stood between him and his 
love." 

**I? I have done none of this — ^you cannot 
mean what you say. God knows, I have never 
tried to do you aught but good." 

**Havc you not separated him from your 
niece? Are you not hurrying her into a mar- 
riage with another?" 

She had risen to her feet, and stood looking 
down upon him. 

**No!" he replied, ** there is some mistake, 
you are deceived. I did not think you would 
credit me with being a match-maker, Mary." 
He laughed scornfully. **I did not know that 
your son was a suitor for Viola's hand. I 
have never advised her to marry Carston. I 
know little of women, and most of that little 
is unpleasant, except Viola — I love her very 
much. It was a trial at first to have her, now 
it is a deprivation to let her go. I did not think 
I could feel so tenderly to Agnes's child." 

Mr. Felton's voice was gentler than it had 
ever been, even to Viola. 

**She knows of— of the silence between the 
families?" 



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136 Cenne00ee Sftetc^w 

** Enmity is a better word. Yes, I think so, 
I am sure she is ignorant of the cause." 

** Herbert does not know of this visit; I 
trust he may never know. He holds his life 
by a thread, with care he may recover, but 
hopeless, dispirited, miserable, I know he will 
die. Viola loves him — she must love him, 
handsome, brilliant, attractive as he is. Then 
why is she making this sudden marriage, 
except that she knows you approve of this 
congressman and disapprove of Herbert? By 
all that was sweet and holy in the past I en- 
treat you to be generous, to be just; release 
her from all duty to yourself in the matter, 
and tell her to follow the dictates of her own 
heart." 

**And marry a Rans?" 

'*Yes, aHerbert-Rans!" 

**If I do," he cried vehemently, **and if it 
be true that she loves your son, and has bound 
herself to this other. If the gentle flower that 
has come to me in life would turn from me to 
your husband's child, then my faith in human- 
ity, in justice, in mercy is over." 

**You will not forbid her marriage to Her- 
bert, then?" The words came with difficulty, 
her hands were clinched till the nails cut 
through her gloves. 

'*N0| except on the day she becomes his 



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Cl^e Mtmttx from Cennnf^ee 137 

wife we part forever — that will matter little to 
her — we old people are fossils to be struck off 
at pleasure. I would not have it otherwise if 
what you suppose be the case." 

Mrs. Rans's eyes filled with tears. 

**How the past comes back to me, seeing 
you," he said. **It is difficult to feel myself 
in the present. How has it fared with you all 
these years?" 

**I have not risen to fame and prominence, 
as you have," she replied, brushing away a 
tear, **I knew it was in you. I have watched 
your course — and — have — been glad of your 
success. Good-by, ' * 

She extended her hand, he caught it in both 
of his own. 

**I have your promise," she whispered, 
**forgive my coming," and was gone. 

Mr. Felton sank back into his seat, and 
covered his face with his hands ; great drops 
of moisture stood upon his* brow. The man 
came in to replenish the fire and light the 
lamps, it was growing late. 

**Has Miss Felton returned?" he asked. 

His own voice sounded strange to him. 
James replied that she had been at home for 
an hour. 

*'Say I should like to speak with her. Ask 
her to come to me here." 



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13^ Cennf00ee Siftftcte^ 

In a few moments Viola entered, bringing 
light and freshness and vivacity with her into 
the room. 

**You sent for me, uncle?*' bending over 
him, **but I was coming anyway. How are you? 
How have you spent the day without me?** 

**I have missed you,** he said, smiling back 
at her. Then, **I have sent for you, Viola; 
sit down, I want to talk with you.*' 

**I am ready," she said, taking the chair 
that Mrs. Rans had so recently occupied. 
**You look as if you were going to lecture, to 
scold me. You have never tried it before and 
are awkward in beginning." She patted his 
arm affectionately, as a sort of emphasis to 
her words. 

** Viola,*' abruptly, **have you been honest 
with me? Are you sincerely attached to the 
man whom you have promised to marry, or 
have you been influenced by ambition or by 
what you fancied were my wishes in the mat- 
ter? And in this have you done violence 
to other feelings, other sentiments of your 
heart?" 

Viola's eyes had opened wider as he spoke, 
the pupils were dilated till they were almost 
black. She had a great desire to run away ; 
she had never seen him so difficult; she was a 
little frightened. 



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C^e fUtmttt from ^tnntMtt 139 

'*What is it, uncle?" she said at last, *'! 
feel like a criminal on trial." 

**What are your sentiments toward Herbert 
Rans?" he asked. 

Viola's face clouded. 

**I like him," she said, **very, very much." 

Mr. Felton sprang to his feet, walked the 
full length of the room, then came back and 
sat down. 

The fire blazed up suddenly, a log had 
broken and fallen between the great andirons. 
Viola saw this, and involuntarily remembered 
what she termed her experience in the same 
place weeks before. Her uncle's voice recalled 
her to the present : 

** Child, you know our families have not 
been friends, there has been a settled feud 
between us for years. Archibald Rans has 
inflicted upon me the keenest wounds of my 
life, and in a way that I could not resent 
them. I have seen this young man with you, 
there is something pleasing about him. They 
tell me he is brilliant and attractive. Do you 
know he is your cousin, Viola?" 

**I know there is some connection," she 
replied. 

**Yes, his mother is your mother's cousin. 
They were much together in their girlhood, 
and were intimate friends." 



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**I have felt drawn to Mrs. Rans always," 
Viola said; **she seems a sort of poem, a sym- 
phony." 

**And Rans's wife?" he cried, fiercely. 

**That would make a discord if I ever 
thought of him, but I never do." 

Mr. Felton was holding himself under great 
restraint, and asking questions after the man- 
ner of a lawyer examining a witness. 

**To go back to the son, you say you like 
him. My daughter, has this enmity influenced 
your marriage? Do you love young Rans, and 
are you going to marry Phillip Carston?" 

**Uncle!" 

**I suppose it is never too late to repair a 
mistake this side of the altar. I am a poor 
hand to advise about marriage, but I know 
about honor." He breathed hard for a 
moment. **I would not, however, have this 
old quarrel interfere with your future. My 
child, leave me and my wishes entirely out of 
the question, look into your own heart and 
decide. If you love this young man, and 
think that way lieth happiness, I hope no 
fancied duty to me will deter you. I do not 
like the Rans blood, but I desire your welfare. " 

** Uncle, why do you talk so? Why do you 
think so? There is some mistake; I do not 
love Herbert. I am fond of him as a friend, 



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C^e fiBitmhn from (Tennnf^ee 141 

a cousin; I have told him as much. But I 
love Phillip; he has won my heart, and I am 
glad that our marriage meets with your appro- 
bation. I loved him before I came to Ten- 
nessee, before I ever knew Herbert Rans. Set 
your mind at rest, all is bright and beautiful 
in my life." 

She stood by his side as she spoke, and one 
arm stole about his neck. 

**Are you sure, child?" 

**Very sure," she replied. 

**I am glad," he said, then, after a pause, 
"I suppose I am glad." He was thinking of 
Mary Rans. 

When Viola had gone, he drew himself up 
to his table, and wrote : 

**I have kept my promise. The case is not 
as you thought. For the sake of you I had 
almost wished it; but it is better, believe me, 
much better. My will has not controlled the 
matter. I look to the past for your belief in 
the entire veracity of this statement." 

That was all. He folded and sealed the 
letter, then ringing the bell, sent it away. 

The letter to Mrs. Rans dispatched, Mr. 
Felton was soon lost in reverie. Much of his 
early life came back to him. It appeared to- 
night in floods of light sometimes, in checkered 
phases at others. He was a sensitive college 



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142 ^tnntMtt S)fc^cfie0 

boy with few friends, and loving only Mary 
Herbert and his brother Jeffreys ; then he grew 
older, and there came close-fisted days of pov- 
.erty and early trials, but Mary was there. 
She could say the gentle word that would calm 
his tingling nerves, and rest his restless spirit. 
He heard again that soft voice of hers; no 
music had ever been so sweet to him ; no sound 
had ever given him so much strength and cour- 
age for the battle of life. He would dwell on 
it all now, beautiful in the spring time — she 
was. There were lovely pictures of her in 
his mind. And he saw Agnes stealing away 
Jeff's heart, and sowing discord and making 
mischief ; he thought, too, of Rans, his treach- 
ery, his money — his success. Then, there was 
chaos, his own bitter words — the fierce quarrel 
with Mary, and all was over, and he went 
away. He came back, but it was too late. 
He dashed his hand down on the desk, knock- 
ing off a vase of Viola's flowers. 

There was a tap upon the door, and James 
came in bringing several telegrams. He saw 
there was news of importance and tore the 
first one open. It read : 

**You have just been nominated for senator 
by the caucus. A thousand congratulations. 
Will be formally elected in the morning. 
Charles Weston.'' 



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(T^e fiBitmin from Cenne^^ee 143 

Mr. Felton's hand shook, he read it over 
again, but did not move from his seat. He 
knew this was a great triumph, a great vic- 
tory; but he was dreaming to-night. He saw 
as though it were a panorama before him, his 
whole future ; he would go back to Washing- 
ton, to the old arena of action and thought; 
and enter a higher body of usefulness. 
Viola and Carston would be there, and he 
might be with them. He thought of Mrs. 
Blake and Major Hillyer, but most of Mar- 
garet Vane. He would have excitement, suc- 
cess, the friction and combat of minds. The 
bills, the measures ; the machinery of govern- 
ment piled up before him. His life would be 
full, his ambition satisfied. Yet he felt to- 
night to have won and held the love of Mary 
Herbert ; to have walked with her through all 
the years, would have been more blessed far, 
than the wearied honors of fame. And he 
knew that he desired to lay down all that life 
had given him for the picture of peace and 
contentment that hung in the past. 

But there was music without, they were call- 
ing his name; a crowd was filling the lawn 
and gathering on the porch. All the town was 
coming to do him honor. Viola and Margaret 
Vane rushed in and Mrs. Justice. The people 
broke into his library, they hurried him to the 



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144 ^tnntMtt Sikttt^t^ 

front; he made them a speech, the air was 
full of cheers and music. They carried him 
into town; they lighted bonfires, and sent 
up rockets, and amid it all there came to 
him: 

**I have watched your course, and have been 
glad of your success." 

The morning paper contained great head- 
lines in honor of the successful candidate, 
applauding his past political career, and em- 
phasizing his ability, character, and eminent 
fitness for the position. The journal vouchsafed 
all sorts of conjectures as to what he probably 
would and would not do, and concluded by 
congratulating its especial division of the 
state, and its own town, upon being the home 
of the new senator. It contained also a fairly 
good portrait of Mr. Felton and a brief sketch 
of his life. 

The wide, front doors of Oakland were 
thrown open, and the sunlight streaming 
through the casement made a royal winter 
visitant. Many servants moved about the 
house in a brisk, wide-awake way. Something 
evidently had happened that was pleasant. 
Telegrams were coming from all over the 
country; the messenger boys had ceased to 
ring the bell, but went on to the library to 
deliver them in person. Mr. Felton read 



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Cf)e fiAtmin from ^tnntMtt 145 

everything that came with great satisfaction, 
and Viola was in the highest spirits. 

**I am fond of this newspaper/* the young 
girl said, taking the double sheets and folding 
them carefully. 

Her uncle laughed. 

**It is an excellent journal and well edited," 
he replied, '*but I never heard you so enthusi- 
astic before." 

The door opened. 

'*Why Judge!" he exclaimed, **come in! 
How d'ye do; when did you get home?" 

Mr. Felton was by his friend's side and they 
were shaking hands enthusiastically. 

**By the morning train." Judge Justice 
had a triumphant air about him, befitting one 
who has scored a victory and knows it. 

** There was no use in my staying longer, 
but Steele and Carter and Weston will remain 
till the legislature ratifies the nomination; 
wild horses could not pull them away before 
then." 

They laughed together from pure excess of 
spirits. 

**You all are drunk full of greatness out 
here, I see," the judge continued, picking 
up the telegrams that covered the table, and 
reading one after the other. ** These yellow 
leaf affairs get very close to a man's heart; 



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146 Cenneuuee Sftetcfinf 

they are like the pressure of a friend's hand; 
they show the close proximity of his thought. 
I heard a sad piece of news just now," he 
said, taking off his glasses and turning to Mr. 
Felton. *'As I was driving into your gate 
Dr. Strong came along. He tells me that 
Herbert Rans will not live through the 
day.'' 

'* Impossible!" 

**I expect it is true. The poor boy was 
out at your ovation last night, as well as he 
ever is. On the way home he was caught in 
that drenching rain and I think the doctor 
said he ran to get out of it." 

**Poor Herbert!" Viola exclaimed, '*and he 
has never had anything he wanted in life." 
Her voice broke and she went hurriedly from 
the room. 

The judge and Mr. Felton discussed the 
caucus, the latter hearing how it was done and 
who did it! But all elation and enthusiasm 
had gone from him. The consciousness that 
a gentle, self -repressed woman was watching 
the passage of a life that was her life stilled 
him, held his faculties dormant; he caught 
himself listening to the words of farewell, 
straining his ears to hear the low, musical 
tones that would go with the well beloved up 
to the eternal gates. 



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Cfte Mtmltx from Cenne00ee 147 

Mr. Felton went with the judge to his 
buggy. 

"Justice," he said, clearing his throat in 
that peculiar way of his when in moments of 
perplexity or embarrassment, **has Margaret 
told you that several days ago she promised 
to become the wife of the new senator?" 



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IN THE FACE OF THE 
QUARANTINE 



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IN THE FACE OF THE 
QUARANTINE 

The morning train stood ready to move on 
schedule time ; not that the regular stops were 
to be made, for most of the stations between 
the city and the Tennessee River, nearly a 
day's travel, were quarantined against every- 
thing coming from the South. But Captain 
Ryan said in his business-like way, accepting 
the situation in the same breath: **We start 
on the minute, and will put off and take on 
passengers when they will let us." 

Marcus Finley walked hurriedly along the 
main street, his hat pulled over his eyes ; his 
step was quick and, if possible to one of his 
strength and vigor, nervous — a change from 
his masterful stride, due to days of unrest. 
The sun's rays were not fierce as they would 
be at noon, the sky was cloudless, luminously 
blue, and an indefinable yellow haze was every- 
where. He met no one, and his footfalls rang 
on the pavement as a horse's hoofs do on a 
silent street at night. He threw back his 
head, and looked about him; this was the 
151 



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152 Centte00ee SitetcfteiEJ 

center of the city, yet the business houses and 
offices were closed, and neither man nor beast 
was in range of his vision. 

**I can't stand this any longer," he ex- 
claimed, dominated by sudden depression; 
** yellow fever or no yellow fever, duty or no 
duty, I must get out of this town. * ' He shook 
himself as chained Samson might have done. 

He reached the rooms of the Relief Associ- 
ation, and turned into them to speak with the 
secretary. 

**I'm going away, Wingate," he said, lean- 
ing over the desk and shaking the man's out- 
stretched hand, "and when I've braced up 
some, filled my lungs with pure air, and my 
mind with something beside sickness, I may 
come back." He stopped in a sense embar- 
rassed, and ran his eyes over the list of new 
cases, and the calls for assistance that were 
spread out for inspection. **I don't like to 
desert you, old man, but I'm no good with the 
fever patients, and am overwhelmed with this 
gloom; we are groping through the impen- 
etrable at noon-day." He laid down a 
check, and turned away. 

Wingate, recalling the fact that he was the 
third secretary in as many weeks to serve the 
association, his predecessors having suc- 
cumbed to the fever, shivered a little as Finley 



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in t)e dPace of t)e ilguatantine 153 

left him. But there was no time for futile 
fear ; the room was filling with people clamor- 
ing for nurses, rations, clothing, and stimu- 
lants; yes, for stimulants always, to steady the 
nerves, to raise the spirits, to prevent the 
inward sinking caused by seeing the havoc of 
the epidemic. 

Finley found it hard to get away from town ; 
at the door of the relief rooms he almost ran 
into the arms of the president of the board of 
health, the manager of the campaign against 
the pestilence, the man whose name was on 
every tongue, and whose daily telegrams were 
read with the same anxiety as are those of a 
general sent during the progress of a battle. 
The veteran looked gray, worn, but courage- 
ous; he seemed to experience a stem joy in 
the fight he was waging. Was he not stand- 
ing guard over the people ! 

**Yes, Stanton is down," he said, in answer 
to Finley's inquiry; **we were together last 
night attending a very sick patient, and before 
daylight this morning I was called to his bed- 
side. I cannot tell," moving the handle of 
his whip slowly about the toe of his shoe, 
"how seriously his case may develop. Of 
course, I hope for the best, but in this strug- 
gle with the epidemic he has shown a reckless 
disregard of self." 



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154 ^tnntmtt Sftrtcjeg 

*'The fever is worse, doctor?" Finley 
asked, keeping to the question of supreme 
moment. 

**I fear so, at least there is a large increase 
of new cases." 

**The business of the town is answering the 
cry of humanity," Finley thought, as he went 
on his way; **if this spirit of good-will ex- 
tended over the world it would usher in the 
millennium." 

He reached his rooms, hastily threw a few 
articles of clothing into his valise, and re- 
turned to the street. A car drawn by one 
mule was passing out of sight. "I'm sure of 
my legs anyway," he thought, and started in 
a brisk walk to the station. 

Marcus Finley was of magnificent propor- 
tions. Fully six feet in height, he stood as 
erect as an Indian, and carried his two hun- 
dred pounds as an athlete does his trained 
down weight. His features were strong, 
rugged, his eyes blue, his voice pleasant, his 
manner that of a good comrade. His hair 
was red, and bristled an inch above his fore- 
head. 

'*Hello, Captain Ryan!" he called to the 
conductor, **I see you are still making refu- 
gees at the rate of a carload a day." He 
threw his grip on the floor, and catching up a 



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In f^t ^ace of tike ilguatantfne 155 

palm-leaf fan, seated himself on the shadj 
side of the coach. His spirits were rising. 

*'I have carried many a one away," Ryan 
assented, shaking his head, and gazing 
thoughtfully out of the window, '*and I've got 
the Rev. Dr. Davis aboard this morning." 
With his ticket punch he indicated a man and 
woman — the former evidently an invalid — at 
the other end of the coach. **The little 
preacher looks like he has had a pretty hard 
tussle with Yellow Jack." Ryan moved on, 
examining tickets as he went. His going gave 
Finley an unobstructed view of the sick man, 
and he replied, speaking more to himself than 
to the conductor: 

*'True, but the doctor has brought the 
enemy's colors away with him, he is abun- 
dantly in yellow. " Then he smiled, for the 
forlorn countenance denied the assertion that, 

** Nature rarer uses yellow than another hue. 
Saves she all of that for sunsets — 
Prodigal of blue.'* 

The short train ran rapidly over the low 
monotonous country. Clouds of dust filled 
the car, sunlight streamed through every pos- 
sible opening, and the glare burned and blinded 
the eyes, the heat was intense. Finley tied a 
handkerchief about his neck, and smiled stoic- 
ally at the discomfort. 



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156 CenttW{0ee Sftrtcftw 

**This is a sorry travel for an invalid," he 
decided, **but when people are dying by hun- 
dreds a day in a place, one should not quarrel 
with the 'animal* that carries him away from 
it. The yellow fever of the 'yo's will long be 
memorable.*' 

He examined critically the faces about him 
with the hope of finding a cheerful traveling 
companion. **I*m the only able-bodied man 
of the lot,'* he decided, stretching out his 
strong legs, and crossing his arms over a 
broad chest; **the rest seem overwhelmed with 
ill health or low spirits. But that preacher 
down there is a trump. He endured more, 
spent himself more in the cause of the sick in 
this epidemic than ten strong men ought to 
have done." He passed his hand over his 
face, and through his hair, filling his eyes 
with the dust that had lodged in his lashes and 
brows. Finley recalled a night not many weeks 
before, when he had watched beside a friend, 
sick unto death with yellow fever. He could 
almost hear again the rustle of the draperies 
about the windows as they held, or threw back 
the summer wind. And in the dark, just before 
the breaking of day, the curtains parted, and 
the little preacher entered the room. Finley 
remembered that the man of God no longer 



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in tfte ^ace of t)e ^naxantlnt 157 

appeared small, but robust with the dignity of 
his message. 

**He's a preacher; yes," he mused, taking 
out a cigar and attempting a dry smoke, ^'and 
my church, if I have one, does not hold with 
his at all, but I always take off my hat to a 
brave man when I find him. Little bit of a 
fellow, not bigger than a minute, and not 
stronger physically than a child — I'm mighty 
glad he*s getting well." 

In sudden concern, he glanced down the 
car, the train was jerking and swinging in a 
way to put the nerves of ar invalid to the 
rack. 

**This travel tells on a man unless he is 
made of iron,*' he remarked to the occupant 
of the seat in front of him; **I don't see how 
these convalescents stand it." 

The dust was thicker, heavier, it got into 
the throats and nostrils of the luckless passen- 
gers, well-nigh stifling them, covered their 
clothes, and sifted in next the skin, causing 
great discomfort. 

The man Finley addressed turned around, 
his manner showing the relief it gave him to 
express his exasperation. **They have to 
stand it," he said, gritting his teeth, **and 
they have to drink that muddy water brought 



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158 KmntuBtt i6itetct)e0 

in from the tanks. Ryan tried to stop back 
yonder,'* indicating with his thumb the station 
just passed, **to put off a passenger, and get 
ice, but he couldn't do it, the confounded 
place has joined all the rest against us." 

**This quarantine is a deadener," Finley 
replied, his face and hair ablaze with indigna- 
tion, **it would keep poor wretches cooped up 
in that plague-stricken town till they die, for 
only people with money can get far away. * * He 
was too fair-minded to stop there, and after a 
moment's hesitation, added: **It is the policy 
of the surgeon who takes off the limb to save 
the patient, but he plays the deuce with the 
limb." 

He leaned forward, and with vindictive 
energy threw his cigar out of the window. 

Neither Finley, nor any man on that car had 
accepted the fact that an epidemic is a public 
menace; they had only the point of view of 
the refugee. 

The cigar Finley flung away struck a quar- 
antine guard in the face, and at the same 
moment his companion thrust his head through 
the open window and shouted, **We don't want 
to stop in your old town!" 

For answer the top of the coach was covered 
with bird-shot that rattled as hail. 

Ryan hurried to the men who had caused 



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in tje Jfatt of tfie aguarantine 159 

the disturbance. **For God's sake, stop,'* he 
said; ** they will be firing onus all the way, 
besides, we are going to try to run in and 
make a quick call at the next station. The 
truth is,** leaning over the seat, and speaking 
earnestly, **the preacher is mighty sick, and 
we must get him off the car, if possible. * * 

The train rumbled on ; the heat was as in- 
tense, the dust as disagreeable, but all dis- 
comfort was forgotten in the excitement of 
facing the quarantine. 

The whistle blew, the engineer only heralded 
the coming a short distance away; every man 
on the train except Dr. Davis, bounded to his 
feet, and stood expecting an experience. A 
hoarse, deep noise went up from the station ; 
it became louder, stronger, and an infuriated 
crowd surged about the entrance to the car; 
guns were discharged in the air, and many 
voices were lifted in fierce altercation. The 
imprisoned passengers attempted to get for- 
ward to see what force or argument might do, 
but the employes of the road blocked the 
way. Almost imperceptibly the coach began 
to move. 

All Finley's Irish blood was on fire. 

**Half a dozen brave men could have used 
up the whole concern,** he said. 

He walked the length of the car twice, then 



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i6o fLtnntMn Sfkttt^tH 

came back to where the sick man lay. The 
pinched face troubled him ; it was plain that 
Dr. Davis was unconscious. 

**He cannot last long. " Mrs. Davis's voice 
trembled as she spoke. ** Would it be possible 
to put us off in the woods, we might find a 
cabin near by.** The look in her blue eyes 
was desperate. 

**We will do better than that, madam,'* he 
said, raising one foot, and stamping it on the 
floor either to give emphasis to his words, or 
to assure himself of the strength of his limbs. 
His impatience took him to the door where the 
conductor, considerably crestfallen, talked 
with the brakeman, his eyes fixed on the coun- 
try flying beneath his feet. 

**It was not your fault. Captain,*' Finley 
said, slapping the conductor upon the shoul- 
der, **but we* 11 get ahead of these fellows 
next time. Stop at Crocket, if you can, slow 
up anyway," he added, **and leave the rest 
to me.** 

**It is no use — ** Ryan began. 

Finley interrupted him. **We can at least 
make the effort,*' he asserted. They were 
passing a stretch of beautiful pastureland 
through which ran a cooling stream. The 
horses had stampeded at the approach of the 
train, but a little negro boy sitting in the 



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in t)e ;0att of f^t Oluarantine i6i 

corner of the rail-fence waved his hat vigor- 
ously, and grinned from ear to ear. 

**That is the only friendly salutation we 
have received since we left Memphis," Finley 
said, pointing to the lad. 

Another, and still another station was 
called. Finley noted carefully the position 
and strength of the guards lined up about 
them to enforce the law. 

** Pretty fair guns, they have," he thought, 
**and a determined way of holding them, too, 
as if they meant business," and he shrugged 
his shoulders. 

**The next stop is Crocket," the brakeman 
announced, walking through the car, and 
making an elaborate show of unconsciousness. 

Finley rose to his feet, hurried down the 
passageway of the coach, and raised the little 
preacher in his arms. ** Follow just behind 
me," he said to Mrs. Davis, and went forward 
with his burden, taking long strides, through 
the car and out on the platform. 

The train **slowed up" ; Finley did not wait 
for it to come to a standstill, but leaped to the 
board-covered space in front of the station, 
and stood within range of fifty shotguns. He 
felt himself caught by the shoulder, he knew 
that some one was tugging at his coat sleeve, 
but he wrenched himself free, and said : 



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1 62 ^tnntMH Sbtttt^t^ 

''Gentlemen, give this man a little place 
for charity!" 

He extended his arms toward the crowd ; it 
fell back before him. 

**He is sick, weary, and has not where to 
lay his head." 

The tumult these words created was so 
great that the anxious watchers on the train 
trembled. 

** Shoot me if you will !** Finley cried, catch- 
ing the general excitement, his voice ringing 
clear above the noise, "but remember that no 
brave man, nor set of men, storms down the 
defenseless and the disabled." 

**Put them back on the car, boys," a gruflf 
voice shouted. 

He continued as though there had been no 
interruption : 

"Dr. Davis is a small specimen of human- 
ity," the sick man's long, thin hair fluttered 
in the wind, and his limbs hung limp from 
Finley's arms, "but his work is worthy of a 
giant. You know of his service among the 
sufferers in the epidemic," he paused for one 
brief second; "and now he has succumbed to 
that which he helped many to bear. Yes, he 
has yellow fever — he almost recovered — ^and 
to-day on the train relapsed — ^and will die — " 
The threatening demonstration broke loose 



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in t^e i^ace of ti)t (t^uaxantint 1^3 

again, the people surged and writhed in the 
effort to get forward, and were only kept back 
by the guards in front. It seemed as though 
they would tear the intruders to pieces. 

For the first time Finley looked full into the 
faces before him. 

**I recognize some of you," he said, gravely, 
**and I know your stout hearts; why, we've 
faced death on the battlefield many times 
together. You answered the bugle call then, 
not a man of you wavered when we stormed 
the breastworks. And now have you come to 
do battle against this little windmill of con- 
tagion ! Ah, you were made for braver deeds 
than this, barring your doors against one who 
has fallen at his post! It was somebody's 
duty to look after those fever-scorched people, 
and it is somebody's duty to see that this 
man is taken care of now." 

There was an impulsive swaying backward 
of the crowd, and a stillness appeared in the 
faces at first so belligerent. 

It was midday; the sun beat mercilessly 
upon Finley's uncovered head ; the bleached, 
shrunken boards of the station platform stared 
up into his face, half-blinding him ; not a breath 
of wind was stirring. 

**What are you going to do with this man?" 
he asked, solemnly. 



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164 ?renne00ee Sftetcijeg 

The question was received with profound 
silence, but from the rear of the crowd a 
white, woolly head was working its way to the 
front. Finley saw who it was, and a smile 
broke over his face. **Why that's Reuben 
Clark!" he said, **Come here. Uncle Reuben, 
and show me where to take Dr. Davis. * * 

**Ise haid ther feber, boss," the old man 
spoke rapidly, but with the circumlocution of 
his race, **an* ain' en no ways erfeeard o* hit; 
an* Marse Selmon sont me ter tell yo' dyah's 
er house up yan hill whar haint got n'body en 
hit, ner n'body libin' nigh ter hit." 

Finley instantly realized that this was his 
opportunity. **Where is the house?" he 
demanded. **There is no time to be lost." 

A part of the crowd, awakened to the dan- 
ger, forgotten in the excitement, fled in terror 
to the town, some distance away. 

There were murmurs of dissent, and a few 
threats as the forlorn procession passed down 
the station platform, crossed the track in front 
of the engine, and toiled up the steep hill to 
the isolated cabin. Even Finley's wonderful 
strength was well-nigh exhausted when they 
reached it, but he placed the sick man on the 
bed, and scarcely relaxed a muscle until he 
had fished in his pocket for some money for 
Uncle Reuben. 



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in tfie jTace of tfie ©uatantfne 165 

**Take care of them both,** he said. 

A shrill warning from the engine startled 
him ; he must get back to the train, the time 
allowed for the stop had long since passed. 
There came three more loud, quick calls, fol- 
lowing each other in hurried succession, and 
he went in a rush down the hill. 

The night came, stars winked and blinked 
through the light from the smoking oil lamp. 
Finley, his great limbs thrown over the arm of 
the seat, nearly blocked the passageway of the 
car, but his fellow travelers .stepped around 
them, careful not to disturb his slumbers. 



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AFTERMATH OF THE OLD 
REGIME 



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AFTERMATH OF THE OLD 
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The Penningtons were poor, not that they 
had not been rich — the latter fact was their 
greatest trouble; they could not forget it. 
Mrs. Pennington remembered her father's 
broad acres, his splendid cotton fields, his five 
hundred slaves, and now she complained : 

**I am nothing, no one cares for me; every- 
body neglects my daughter.** 

That evening she leaned her shapely head on 
the back of her rocking chair and felt so un- 
comfortable that it was a luxury. Indeed, so 
overwhelming seemed her misfortunes that it 
came to her in the light of a diversion to speak 
of them; and indolence, unconscious though 
it was, world-tire, and pride, combined to con- 
vince her that all personal effort was impos- 
sible. 

**No, Hattie, no, my child, you cannot ex- 
pect much in this life ; the world is scant in 
its favors to those who are set aside, out of 
169 



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170 ^tnntMtt Sftetcfie0 

date. In any case I would not permit you to 
appear in society unless properly presented. 
So, write and decline Sarah's invitation." 

Hattie, a young girl, dark and slender, 
bearing a distinct resemblance to her mother, 
was fully impressed with the gloomy outlook. 

**Get me the quinine; I will take a dose and 
go to bed," Mrs. Pennington added. Invalid- 
ism was one of her especial pleasures, the 
study of symptoms her most congenial occu- 
pation. 

Hattie brought the medicine and stood 
before her mother holding the box in her 
hand. 

**I scarcely know what excuse to make 
Sarah; and, mamma, people do not dress as 
well as you think.** These last words were 
spoken lingeringly, persuasively, as though to 
bring a change of decision. The older woman 
looked up with a sort of fierce animation. 

**Your wardrobe contains nothing suitable 
for the occasion. Why must we descend to 
mortifying minutiae even with each other?** 
The reproof was not lost on the daughter. 

**You haven't the pride of my family, 
Hattie. Your grandmother lived royally." 
A memory of the old days was like wine to the 
shattered nerves. **No woman in the Missis- 
sippi Valley from New Orleans to Memphis 



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aftermath of tfte ©Hi iaesfme 171 

was so proud or haughty as she, or had a better 
right to be. If we cannot appear as we once 
did, we can stay away — ^there is an exclusive- 
ness even in poverty. Few come to see us 
now;** the voice roughened by years and dis- 
appointment took on a pathetic intonation, 
**and if I am invited at all, it is just a card 
dropped as though I were not expected to 
attend." 

** Mamma, I do not believe that we are so 
cheerful as you used to be in grandmother's 
day." 

The remark deeply offended Mrs. Penning- 
ton ; her eyes became feverishly bright. 

**Of course you would like to lay our present 
unhappy state at my door. Well, let it remain 
there; I can stand anything now.** 

**0h, no, no, mamma.** Hattie was sorely 
distressed. 

** Never mind, it is all right.** Mrs. Pen- 
nington waved her daughter imperiously aside. 

**Send Emily to me; 1*11 have her put my 
feet in a warm mustard bath before I retire. * * 

**Let me do it for you, mamma.** 

**No, I prefer Emily; she knows how I like 
to have things done, and she remembers what 
I was in my time. Good-night, Hattie.** 
Mrs. Pennington*s manner would have done 
credit to a regiment of martyrs. 



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172 ^tnntMtt Sftetcl^eg 

The young girl called Aunt Emily, and went 
downstairs to the sitting-room. This apart- 
ment was eloquent of the fortunes of the fam- 
ily; the large figured velvet carpet had lost 
its earlier brilliance, the thread-bare brocatelle 
on the furniture stared up at one from elabo- 
rately carved rosewood frames, and the lace 
curtains had been darned till they were well- 
nigh hand-made. The whole house told the 
same story. 

Beyond in the dining-room on the claw- 
footed mahogany sideboard stood cut glass 
that had been in the family for generations, 
and the silver bore the initials of Mrs. Pen- 
nington's grandfather carved beneath the 
English crest. There were four gold watches 
upstairs that had counted out the lives of as 
many Pennington ancestors, and carefully 
placed in a faded velvet case was a set of 
pearls, grown yellow with age, that had been 
last worn by Hattie's dead sister when a bride. 
In the cedar chest lay cr^pe shawls, richly 
embroidered mantles, and old silks with many 
** breadths'* in the skirts that could ** stand 
alone." Most of this finery had belonged to 
those who had passed away and was kept 
sacred for their sakes. Everything spoke of 
the past; the telescope was turned backward; 
the outlook was continually narrowing. 



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aftetmatl) of tf^t ®ni %tegime 173 

Hattie sat down, depressed and nervous. 
The clock ticked with thrice its usual insist- 
ence; the bird in the cage whirred incessantly; 
the fire rumbled and groaned, and now and 
then scattered a fusillade of coals on the fen- 
der. The pretty, sensitive features were full 
of disappointment — ^the social ball whirls ever, 
attracting most the people who only hear the 
whir. 

**I shall go over and tell Sarah I cannot 
come,** she decided; **I do not know what to 
say in a note.** 

Acting upon this impulse the young girl 
went to the back door and called, ** Uncle 
Caesar!** 

**Yes, young mistiss,** was the answer. 

**Get your hat and come walk behind me,** 
she said. **I am going to see a neighbor." 

When Hattie reached Colonel Lindsay *s 
door she stopped, hesitating whether or not to 
go in. ** Sarah probably has other company,** 
she thought, '*and mamma would not want me 
to intrude.** 

As she stood irresolute, a gentleman came 
rapidly up the walk. 

**Well, I have overtaken you,** he said, 
speaking in the short, halting way of one who 
is a little out of breath. **I reached your 
house soon after you left. Aunt Emily told 



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174 ^tnntMtt SftetcfiejEJ 

me you had come over here, so I followed 
you.** He moved briskly forward and rang 
the bell. 

Even in the cross lights between the moon 
without and the gas within, one could see that 
the newcomer was not a diffident man. He 
seemed ready, well equipped for an emergency 
and fairly satisfied with himself. He was 
handsome, of the blonde type (it is said that 
in time the gray and blue-eyed people will 
lead in all good things), and evidently on a 
comfortable footing with the world. One 
could see, too, that there was an absence of 
conventional veneer about him, but this might 
have been due to an innate force of character, 
or a settled scorn of shams. 

**Mr. Wayland!** Hattie cried, **you fright- 
ened me." 

The young man was distinctly conscious of 
the pleased surprise in her voice. 

**Only a passing fear, I trust,*' he said, look- 
ing down upon her, smiling. 

Then the door opened, and Hattie moved 
lightly on in advance of Wayland into the par- 
lor. Suddenly everything had grown bright 
to the little lone visitor — she threw off the 
care that oppressed her, the disappointment 
about the entertainment, the sense of isolation 
in which she dwelt, and her wit was so ready, 



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ISLftttmat^ of tfft ffiW iJeBfme 175 

her laugh so spontaneous, that Sarah and Way- 
land listened and enjoyed in pure sympathy. 
It was only when leaving that the revulsion of 
feeling came. 

**I cannot come to your party, Sarah,'* she 
said, abruptly, the color rising slowly in her 
face. **I — I — there are various reasons.** 
She was singularly embarrassed. ''Mamma is 
not at all well, you know.** 

Wayland and Hattie went down the walk in 
silence. The full moon was now splendidly 
abroad, the trees stretched themselves in 
gigantic silhouettes on the grass, their som- 
berness intensified by glowing splashes of 
white light. Hattie*s face appeared pale, her 
eyes full of an unwonted luster, and as she 
drew the white crepe shawl with its long, 
drooping fringe about her slender shoulders, 
she might have been a creation of the shifting 
shadows. 

**I feel like picking you up and running 
away with you,'* her companion said, stop- 
ping as though possessed of a sudden reso- 
lution. He looked capable of putting his 
threat into execution — great, stalwart man 
that he was. 

**I do not think any one would like to do 
that." She laughed nervously and moved a 
little in advance of him. 



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176 ^tnntMH SbiitttfitB 

**I would,** catching up with her. 

They had crossed the street, and the moon 
was not hunting them so persistently. 

** Mamma says nobody cares for us." The 
confidence escaped her involuntarily ; she drew 
in her breath hard for a moment. 

**I do— I love you.** 

Hattie did not speak. In her excitement 
she again quickened her pace, and they were 
soon at her own gate. Wayland lifted back 
the old cumbersome affair— one hinge was 
gone — and they went in the yard together. 

**Have you no word for me?** He was a 
matter-of-fact man, entirely unversed in 
lover's parlance. **Will you be my wife, 
Hattie?" They had reached the porch. This 
was her first proposal — Henry Wayland was 
her first lover. As the pale light fell on his 
face, he seemed to the girl helpful, well- 
equipped for life — no uncompromising tra- 
ditions blocked his progress toward suc- 
cess. 

**Do you love me?** he asked. There was 
anxiety and insistence in his voice. She did 
not instantly reply, but his stubborn will power 
made her raise her head. 

**I — do — ^not — know,** she faltered. 

A smile of tenderness, of content, illumined 
his face. 



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HLftnmafif of tfft ^n Itegfme 177 

"Some day you will know. I can wait." 

Their eyes met, he bent his head suddenly 
and kissed her. 

**What a desolate place this is,*' Wayland 
thought, looking about him as he went down 
the walk. The surroundings never seemed so 
unprepossessing to the young man as they did 
to-night under the moon's steady glare. A 
heavy Virginia creeper covered and darkened 
the porch; china berry trees grew close to- 
gether in the yard ; and rows of old-fashioned 
box were defiled on either side of the winding 
brick walk. The great frame house was in 
dire need of paint, and the once green window 
blinds were nearly brown. 

**The little bird should have some one to 
look after her," he said, and stalked away. 

Hattie crept upstairs as quietly as possible. 
There was no light in her room except the 
uncertain flicker of the fire. She struck a 
match and went directly to the mirror. It 
was an old-time glass set in a narrow gilt 
frame fitted into the space between the win- 
dows. With the fast going flame she looked 
earnestly at herself, then smiling happily bent 
forward and kissed the reflected image. In 
a moment the light was out. 

** Mamma, I hope you slept well," Hattie 
said in cheerful tones next morning, after she 



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178 Cennwjjee Sftrtcjw 

had tiptoed into the room and satisfied herself 
that her mother was awake. 

Mrs. Pennington looked extremely comfort- 
able in her high posted bedstead, protected 
overhead by a canopy upholstered in blue. 
The pillows were large with wide, full ruffles, 
and her head, every hair of which was black 
and smooth, rested high upon them, giving 
her the appearance of almost a half-sitting 
position. Across her feet, over the snowy 
marseilles counterpane, was spread a silk quilt 
made of accurately pieced hexagons put to- 
gether with triangular bits of velvet The 
student of old customs would have found much 
that brought back the days of our grand- 
mothers in these bed draperies. 

Mrs. Pennington seemed glad of her daugh- 
ter's coming. 

**My rest was much disturbed, my dear; I 
feel exhausted and fear I have taken cold. ' * 

**Then do not get up, the day is cloudy, 
and the house very damp.** Mrs. Pennington 
coughed slightly, and settled herself back upon 
the pillows, while Hattie pressed the blankets 
more closely about her shoulders. It had sud- 
denly grown very dark, and now great rain- 
drops pelted the window panes. 

**I have been lying awake a long time, 
child." Mrs Pennington's voice was muffled. 



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aftermatfj of tje ®tti Ktejfme 179 

speaking from out the bed covering, "and 
have been troubled about many things," she 
sighed, wearily. **None of your dear father's 
friends have understood me, Hattie." It was 
evidently a relief to give the cause of her 
mental discontent. **They wanted me to fill 
my house with boarders, to have strangers, 
possibly presuming people, constantly about 
me ; they insisted that you should go out and 
mix with the world, but I have thought differ- 
ently. Darling, I have meant everything for 
the best." 

**Yes, dear mamma, you have done every- 
thing for the best." Their hands found each 
other in a warm, tender clasp. Then with her 
head on her mother's breast, Hattie spoke of 
Henry Wayland. 

The elder woman's face grew stern as her 
daughter's words became plain to her. 

**Do you mean to tell me that you have per- 
mitted this young man to speak of love to you 
on a casual meeting?" she exclaimed, pushing 
Hattie from her and sitting erect : **that he 
took occasion to make a proposal of marriage 
while escorting you from a neighbor's house?" 



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i8o EtnntMtt Sftrtcfje^ 



II 



*'I see nothing the matter with the occa- 
sion," Hattie said, a suspicion of merriment 
in her eyes. 

**And who is this person" — Mrs. Penning- 
ton threw her hair back from her forehead and 
assumed a stately air — '*who presumes to 
aspire to the hand of Hubert Pennington's 
daughter?" 

*'Mamma, you know Henry Wayland?" 

'*Very slightly, in no sense well enough to 
warrant him" — she paused — *'in his present 
course. As I recall him he is bluff, off-hand ; 
there is something intensely commercial about 
him. He laughs loud, too, my daughter. I 
remember he once occasioned me a severe 
headache by his violent laughter in the parlor; 
my nerves were positively unequal to his con- 
tinued cachinnation. * ' 

As Hattie vouchsafed no reply, Mrs. Pen- 
nington continued with even more energy. 
*'The Waylands are not much blood— in trade 
every one of them. Avoid the subject of 
pedigree with Henry, if you would be pleas- 
ant." Mrs. Pennington rose on one elbow, 
and placed the hand that was free beneath her 
daughter's chin. I hope you will not consider 



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aftermatj of tje ®tti Ktejfme i8i 

this proposal of Henry Wayland's, Hattie, the 
thought of such a marriage is obnoxious to 
me. His people were never in our set. 
Child, your grandmother would disown you!" 

As soon as possible the girl left her mother's 
room ; all the world had become dull and color- 
less to her. Hattie did not think independ- 
ently, she was just struggling along trying to 
do her duty as her mother saw it, each day. 

•*Miss Harut is mighty sick, honey," Aunt 
Emily said, bending over Hattie that night. 
**I'ze sont Ceezer fur de docter." 

Hattie threw on her dressing gown and 
rushed into her mother's room. **Did you 
telephone?" she asked. 

**No, chile, we wuzn't gwyne ter trust ter 
dat, dey mought git hit wron*, Ceezer went 
hisse'f." 

The physician, an old friend of the family, 

came and spoke very gently to Hattie, and 

stayed a long time, but Mrs. Pennington was 

beyond all human skill. 

♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦ 

**We must have everything just as mamma 
would wish it. Aunt Emily," Hattie said. 
The two stood together looking down upon 
the calm, still face. **And you know her 
ways better than anybody in the world." 

The old negress moaned out her grief and 



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1 82 Cennwjjee Sftrtcfiw 

willingness to do what she could. There 
came the sound of footsteps outside, crunch- 
ing on the gravel walk. Hattie looked up 
nervously. **Do not have many people com- 
ing in," she whispered ; **you know her abhor- 
rence of curious, prying eyes." 

It was a man bringing beautiful flowers. 
Hattie took the card, her hand trembling as 
she read the penciled name, H. R. Wayland. 
The young girl stood very still for a few 
moments, bowing her head over the creamy 
petals, then she crossed the room and placed 
them upon a stand. ** Mamma might not want 
them nearer her," she murmured. 

** There will be no change in the house, 
Aunt Emily," she said, replying to the old 
woman's question; ** mamma would like every- 
thing to be just the same." 

**But yo* gwyne ter git marri'd b'fo' Ion', 
honey," the old woman's grief giving place to 
an innate curiosity and pleasure in regard to 
a wedding. **I'se seed de lub er gwyin' on 
all de winter, an' now," her voice lowering, 
**dat Miss Harut's done gone — " 

**Hush;" Hattie raised her hand in awe. 

**I cannot think — I cannot decide." 

♦ ♦ « « « 

The winter had gone, and the trumpet call 
of spring was answered from the sward and 



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flftermatfi of tfie ®n iflegfme 183 

from the sky, from the flowers and from the 
trees, from the birds and from the glowing, 
sparkling waters. 

Even the Pennington homestead was trying 
to flaunt a banner of courage — the trees were 
a tender green, and the vines were waving 
their great arms to the restless, fitful caprice 
of the wind. In the front yard Uncle Caesar 
worked, spading the flower beds. All the morn- 
ing he had been running the furrows and hoe- 
ing the rows in the garden, that Miss Hattie 
might have the early vegetables. 

** 'Pears like Em'ly and me hez got ter look 
after dis chile," he said, talking to himself as 
he worked, **sence ole marster an' Miss 
Harut's done lef her. An' she's mor'n wel- 
come ter what we kin do fur her sho'." He 
turned over a spade full of dirt, and struck it, 
breaking the rich earth into a soft, crumbling 
mass. **But Miss Hatt' kin do better," shak- 
ing his head with conviction, **Em'ly say 
Marse Hinry fa'rly lub de groun' she walk on. 
I wish she'd take Marse Hinry dough. But 
Em'ly, she say hit kyarnt come ter pars, 'ca'se 
Miss Harut's ma, in de ole times, nuver went 
er vis'tin an' er callin' on Marse Hinry's 
fam'bly." 

He rested both hands on the spade handle. 
"Mebby Em'ly's right," nodding his head, 



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184 Cennwgee Sbttt^tB 

**fur Miss Harut, she did set pow'rful sto' by 
ole Miss— she talk about her constant." 
Uncle Caesar gathered up his tools, getting 
ready to leave. **Hit seems ter me mighty 
fur back," uttering the words solemnly and 
looking about him as though seeking light 
upon the subject, **an* dey all o' *em dead an' 
gone, too. Mighty fur back," he repeated, 
*'an' I specs dey is got erquainted wid one an* 
urrer ober dyah Ion' ago." The old man 
lifted his head. So deep in thought was 
Uncle Caesar that Wayland spoke twice to 
him from the gate before he heard, then he 
hurried forward. 

'*Yas, sar, Marse Hinry, Miss Hattie's in, 
an' I specs she'll be pow'rful glad ter see 
yo'." 

Wayland smiled, and leaving his horse with 
the old negro went into the house. 

**Your flowers are looking well. Uncle 
Caesar," he said, speaking back over his 
shoulder. 

' The old man was making some reply, but 
Henry heeded it not, for Hattie was standing 
in the door, smiling upon him. 

**Come in," she said, pleasantly, and led 
the way into the parlor. 

Before taking his seat the young man opened 
a window and slightly raised the shade. 



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^ftermatfi of tje ®ni mtqlmt 185 

"You must have more air in your lungs and 
more sunlight in your life/' he said. 

To him Hattie appeared to be growing 
frailer and sadder each day. 

The little droop at the corners of her mouth 
had well-nigh become permanent, and the glad 
times when she was gayer and merrier than 
the rest, as the afternoon at Sarah Lindsay's, 
seemed never to be coming again. 

**You are a mystery, an enigma to me," he 
said, earnestly, after he had watched her for 
some moments almost in silence, making now 
and then a fragmentary remark. As she 
seemed not inclined to reply he went on: **I 
have been thinking of you a great deal to- 
day — not that I am not always thinking of 
you — indeed, all the forenoon I felt anxious, 
that is the reason I am here now." 

Hattie's slender little hands locked and un- 
locked themselves together in her lap, and 
her restless eyes looked out upon the western 
sky aglow with pink and purple clouds against 
an amber background, without being con- 
scious of the presence of any color or light. 

** Uneasy about me, why?" she said, at last, 
with an effort. 

His answer came instantly. 

** Because you are troubled and will not tell 
me the cause ; because your excuses are child- 



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1 86 ^tniitMt$ SbMtlft^ 

ish, ridiculous — why will you not marry me, 
Hattie?" He had bent toward her till his 
face was so near her own that his quick breath 
touched her cheek. 

She drew away from him and covered her 
face with her hands. As she did so the old 
clock in the next room struck the hour wheez- 
ingly, haltingly. Age and dust had changed 
the ancient timepiece's naturally pleasant tone 
into this clanging, jarring discord. All at 
once Wayland thought of the forlornness of 
everything about the place, the old house, the 
old furniture, the old servants, and the old 
memories ; nothing was young except the little 
shadow-grown flower by his side. 

The mocking-bird outside sang three or four 
notes, as only that wonderfully-throated bird 
can sing, the sparrows fluttered in and through 
the Virginia creeper on the porch, settling 
themselves for the night. 

**Why will you not marry me?" he said again. 

She raised her face to his appealingly. **If 
I only might — ^but I cannot — I never can, 
Henry.'* 

'* You shall.** 

For a moment his will was stronger than 
hers. 

**You need me/' he said, drawing her into 
his arms. 



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^ftermatfi of tt)e ®lti iflegfme 1S7 

That night Hattie fell on her knees beside 
her bed and buried her face in the pillows. 

**0, mamma, mamma, I try always to re- 
member you, always to obey you!" 

She did not send Wayland away, he would 
not be sent away, but she fixed no time for 
the marriage. 

The warm weather came on earlier than 
usual, and was more oppressive than the 
oldest inhabitant could remember it ever to 
have been at the same time of the year. 

One Southern city is much like another, and 
one summer as regards climate is within limi- 
tations the same, but this season the vegeta- 
tion was ranker, the sun hotter; the frequent 
rains brought little freshness only a humid 
heat, and the air was heavy with perfume, the 
fragrance of August lilies and night blooming 
jasmine, and deadly with miasma. 

'*You must make up your mind to leave 
town," Wayland said to Hattie. **I look for 
yellow fever to break out at any time — I 
believe it is here now.*' 

She smiled in a deferential, pleasant way 
she had when disagreeing with him — it was 
this manner of hers he had come to dread. 

**I think not," she replied, '*at any rate I 
am not afraid." 

It was evident that great uneasiness was 



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i88 ^tnntMtt Sftetcfiw 

felt all over the city. Sanitafy laws were 
passed and rigidly enforced, and citizens were 
warned to keep within doors after nightfall. 
Correctly reading the signs of the times, many 
conservative men took their families out of 
town. But, though all this unrest was known 
and understood, the announcement by the 
board of health that yellow fever was epi- 
demic in Memphis came as a great shock to 
most of the people and produced a regular 
stampede from the city. Women as well as 
men dashed wildly through the streets buying 
what they could, and making the best arrange- 
ments possible to leave by the first train. 

Wayland hurried to see Hattie. He felt 
desperate, and looked haggard and careworn. 

"You will not longer refuse to be my wife," 
he said; **it is a case of life and death now." 

But she did refuse, though her face was as 
white and colorless as the muslin dress she 
wore. 

From his fruitless visit, the young man went 
on to the business part of the city. Main 
street was full of a hurrying, busy, excited 
throng. Barrels of burning tar were placed 
at irregular distances the full length of this 
thoroughfare, and the ascending smoke 
seemed to darken and clog the air. In the 
general confusion, he met Sarah Lindsjiy. 



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*'I shall see you at the train to-night?** she 
questioned. 

'*I may go down to say good-bye,** he 
replied, '*but I am not going away.** 

'*Why?** she asked. 

He looked at her and she understood. 

"I must see what becomes of her, first," he 
said, and passed on. From the railway station 
that evening, Wayland went to see Hattie. 
He had left fleeing thousands — long trains 
were leaving at intervals of two hours, every 
coach full to overflowing. He found a calm, 
self-contained woman; no suspicion of fear 
lurked upon her pretty face. 

Hattie placed the light so that it would not 
be too glaring to his eyes, and made her con- 
versation a^ natural and pleasant as possible. 

"So the Lindsays are off,** she said, cheerily. 

He gave an indifferent assent. 

"Such confusion as they were in I never 
saw,** she went on. *'I ran over to help them 
pack. It was no use; they threw whatever 
they could most easily get into their trunks 
and fled, there is no other word for it.*' She 
laughed as though it were a May-day outing. 

No one who remained within the stricken 
city during the terrible yellow fever epidemic 
will ever forget the time. He will remember 
the hand to hand struggle with disease, the 



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dreary rattle of the death cart along the almost 
deserted streets, the sense of isolation from 
the outside world, the consciousness of being 
surrounded by an unseen, destroying some- 
thing in the atmosphere that made the wind 
that cooled the cheek possibly the messenger 
of death ; the impalpable dust that was blown 
into the nostrils the implanting of pestilence. 

Ill 

Wayland, in his energetic, business way, 
entered into the work of relief. He dispensed 
food and medicine. He gave himself little 
relaxation ; he scarcely allowed himself time to 
think. At first the great havoc of the epi- 
demic had a terrible fascination for him ; men 
seemed drunk with death, and those who were 
tottering and falling about him represented 
the advance guard, and the whole population, 
as a doomed army, was hurrying on to a like 
inevitable fate. But the revulsion came and 
he recoiled from the scenes about him with 
horror, and later he grew graver and sadder, 
as one in the presence of a great, inexplicable 
visitation. One day he staggered out into the 
light from the deathbed of a stalwart, splen- 
did man who had been his friend. '*How 
long, O Lord?*' he cried, lifting his eyes to 



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aiftnmatl^ of tte ®Ri ^tqimt 191 

the brilliant sky that was flecked with clouds 
as light and shadowy as the thistle down. 

**I have seen so many people die," he said 
to Hattie, **this feeble flicker of life is tossed 
out as suddenly and easily as is a newly 
ignited match in face of the strongest wind.*' 

Hattie glanced up anxiously into his face, 
and saw that about his temple and ears the 
closely cut hair was turning gray. 

**You know Uncle Csesar is out to-day," 
she said, desiring to change the subject. 
**He went down in the water-melon patch this 
morning, supported by a stick in each hand. 
Aunt Emily found him at dinner time under 
the apple-tree asleep, the rind of a good-sized 
melon by his side." 

**Are you getting back your strength?" he 
asked, abruptly. 

'*Yes, and almost my natural color; these 
hands" — extending one to him — **are nearly 
white now, two weeks ago they were as yellow 
as the nasturtiums in the bed out there." 

Wayland drew up his shoulders, and looked 
away absently to the trees that mark the river 
line of Arkansas. **The worst time I have 
had was whien you were sick," he said. 

Tiff, Mrs. Pennington's rat terrier, that was 
lying on Hattie's skirt, suddenly jumped up, 
stretched his little legs and began to bark. 



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192 ^tnntMtt Sbt^tttf^ta 

**I knew," she replied, gently, and was 
silent. But there was something she wanted 
to say to him and this was as good a time as 
any other. 

**Do not think I have been unmindful of 
your kindness — of your affection, Henry," 
she faltered ; * * I have known that you remained 
in town to watch over me. I could not have 
gone through this terrible time without you." 
The hand she placed on his arm was almost a 
caress. 

He caught and held it. 

**When all this is over, will it not be well 
with us, love?" he questioned. 

Hattie Pennington seemed to have devel- 
oped during the past few months ; there was a 
freer, more independent tone in her voice, and 
Wayland hoped that some of the abject vassal- 
age to the past was over. 

**You are so alone, so desolate," he con- 
tinued, **it seems to me that you need me as 
I do you." 

**Yes, yes," she murmured. **I have 
thought of many things of late, and have — 
have thought," she stopped and concluded 
miserably, "after a time it may be different, 
but not now, not now." 

Much moved she left him and went into the 
house. 



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^fUxmatf^ of tf^t <&n %leg(me 193 



The early autumn had begun to paint the 
forests, and the roses had taken on russet and 
golden hues. Wayland came down the stair- 
way leading from his sleeping apartment, tak- 
ing two steps at a time. **We may hope, 
now,'* he said aloud, stopping on the landing 
to look at the golden glory of the trees, and 
drink in the fresh morning air. 

**The fever will not spread in this cool 
weather, and old Jack Frost means deliver- 
ance." 

He absolutely found himself whistling, as 
walking in a brisk, elastic tread he entered 
the almost deserted dining-room. A member 
of the Howard Association sat near him. 
They immediately, began to talk in low tones, 
and Wayland jotted down several numbers in 
his note-book where medicine and nurses must 
be sent. 

**Unc* Ceezur Pennin'ton is out dyah 
*quirin* fur you', boss," the waiter said as he 
came to take his order for breakfast. 

Wayland jumped nervously to his feet, and 
hurried to the door. 

**What is the matter, Uncle Csesar?" he 
asked, in his excitement, speaking much 
louder than was necessary. The old man ap- 
peared to be very feeble ; he still walked with 



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194 ILtnntMtt S)ftetcfi«j 

the two sticks Hattie had spoken of, and his 
lusterless, fever-worn eyes looked up into 
Wayland's face helplessly. 

**My Em*ly is done tuck sick, Marse Hinry, 
mighty sick fur shore. ' * 

Wayland gave an exclamation of regret. 

**When?'* he asked. 

**De day b*fo' yistiddy in de mornin' 'fo* 
'twas light." 

**Has she a nurse?** 

**Yas, sar, dey sont a nuss f*om town an' 
den Miss Hatt*s raght dyah by Em*ly*s side," 
he threw back his head in grief. **I*se *feard 
she gwine ter die, marster.** 

**0h, no,*' was the reply, **your race nearly 
all recover; see how fast you got up. Uncle 
Casar.** 

**But Em*ly*s bin gwyin* erbout ermongst 
dis feber de whole blessed time,*' he said, 
sadly, **till, Marse Hinry, she is jes* fa'rly 
soaked wid de yaller pison. She sont me 
arfter yo*,** he exclaimed, suddenly remem- 
bering his business. **She say she not gwyne 
ter git well, an* she kyarn*t leab dis yearth 
wid out seein' yo'." 

**I*11 come," Henry, promised, slipping 
some money into the old man*s hand. 

In the sick room Aunt Emily pleaded with 
Hattie: **Miss Harut an* ole Miss ain* gwine 



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dftetmatt o( t^e ^Ib %leg(tne 195 

ter kear, honey,** she whispered, drawing the 
young girl down and speaking into her ear; 
'*dee not gwine ter kear at all.'* Hattie 
moved restlessly in her seat. 

**Let the blanket stay about you, Aunt 
Emily," she said, tenderly drawing the cover- 
ing over the wasted hands and shoulders, 
**and please do not worry about me." 

The old woman obeyed her for a few mo- 
ments, then she started up evidently aroused 
by a sudden, painful thought. 

**I kyarn't leab yo', chile, heah by yo*se*f," 
she moaned, ** *fo* God,** clutching her hair, 
'*I doan know which way ter tu*n. Ceezur 
ain* gwine ter be no count when I*se gone, 
he*ll drap soon en der grave hisse*f.** 

**If you are not calmer, you will kill your- 
self, mammy,** Hattie said, using the old nurs- 
ery name for the first time in many years, 
and resting her head lightly on the faithful 
breast. 

Aunt Emily*s hand through the covering 
tried to caress the sweet girl face. 

**I ain' gwine ter git well, chile, I know hit, 
honey, an* de doctor done tole yo* de same. 
Doan yo' cry nuther, fur old Em*ly's at peace 
wid de Lord. But, chile, I'se pestered 'bout 
yo'. What'll yo* do? O Miss Hatt, yo* mus*, 
chile. Yo' lub Marse Henry — an* " — her voice 



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196 CnineMee S)ftrtcfte0 

became low — **I kno*s MissHarut, an* oleMiss 
nuther ain' er gwine ter kear. Fur I*se seed 
em. I seed Miss Harut lars night, an' she 
wus happy, an' putty lak she use ter be b'fo' 
de hard time come. An* I'se gwine ter 'splain 
all erbout hit jes es soon ez I git up dyah.** 

The gourd vine about the door swayed back- 
ward, and the gourds Aunt Emily was saving 
for dippers struck together with a little clank- 
ing sound. A shadow in the room caused 
them both to look up. Henry Wayland stood 
on the threshold. 

**Come in, Marse Henry," the old woman 
said, smiling faintly upon him. 

**How are you?" he asked, standing over 
the bed. His six feet of manhood seemed 
out of all proportion in the small apartment. 

** Poorly, poorly" — her strength was well- 
nigh gone — I'se gwine home, youn* marster," 
she continued, speaking with a great effort, 
**but I kyarn't die en peace, *case — o* Miss 
Hatt." 

Wayland looked at Hattie. He had not 
seen her since the afternoon when she had 
fixed another indefinite waiting, and he was 
beginning to feel that the time was near when 
self respect would demand that he put her out 
of his life and heart. 

**I have begged her to let me take care of 



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aiftetmatt of tf^t iQlb %leg{me 197 

her," he said, promptly, **but she will not, 
Aunt Emily.*' 

**Ef she only wou'd, youn' marster, ef I 
could jes* teck de wud o' dat wid me, I'd die 
happy. Miss Hattie, listen ter yo' ole mammy, 
chile, hit's all right, all right." She half rose 
in the bed as though stjrengthened by a sud- 
den inspiration. **Send fur er preacher Marse 
Henry, an' go git de license, quick— quick," 
she gasped, **for my time's short, my time's 
short, an' I kyarn't go wid out hit comin' ter 
pars. I ain' gwine till hit come ter pars. Be 
quick, youn' marster, be quick!" She sank 
back exhausted: **I'll 'splain hit all ter ole 
Miss and Miss Harut." 

Wayland suddenly grew excited. The old 
woman's word of command filled him with 
hope. 

'*Shall I, Hattie?" he asked, *'shall I?" 
His hand was pressing harder than he knew 
upon her shoulder. 

She did not reply ; her face was buried in 
her hands. 

**Shall I?" he whispered. 

Hattie moved restlessly under his vise-like 
grasp, still no answer came. 

**Yes, sar, go," the old woman reiterated. 
** Listen ter me, youn' marster; she lub yo 
ter d'straction; I knows my chile." 



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198 Cennej53Siee Sftrtcftw 

Without another word Wayland left the 
room. As he passed from the side porch into 
the main hall the old, wheezing clock sounded 
the hour. Mechanically he counted the 
strokes, **one, two, three, four.** 

Hattie made as though she would follow 
him. Aunt Emily detained her. **Stay wid 
yo' ole black mammy, chile,*' she whispered, 
**yo* gwine miss her whin she gone.** 

The young girl sank back into her seat. 
There was a whirring in her ears, a sound as 
of strange voices about her, the definiteness 
of time and the inexorable beckonings of eter- 
nity were everywhere. She glanced around 
as one bewildered. Uncle Caesar sat at the 
foot of the bed weeping silently. Aunt 
Emily's low, feeble breathing was the only 
sound in the room. 

Once Hattie started and seemed excited, 
terrified, a possibility thrust itself into her 
mind. Henry Wayland could not have gone 
to do Aunt Emily's bidding, and yet he was a 
man who would take a responsibility if need 
be. A carriage stopped at the gate ; she raised 
her head and listened. Several people were 
talking on the outside of the door; they were 
now in the room. She heard Aunt Emily say : 

**Hab hit, youn' marster, raght heah by my 
bed, an* 1*11 gi* her erway.** Wayland was 



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aiftmnatj^ of f^t ®lli itegfme 199 

speaking to her, she was standing on her feet, 
the clergyman was reading the marriage cere- 
mony, her eyes were looking into Aunt 
Emily's. 

*'Wilt thou have this man to be thy wedded 
husband?" 

**Say yas, honey, " the kind old eyes pleaded. 

With stiffened lips Hattie framed the assent. 
She heard no more, only continued to gaze 
into Aunt Emily's eyes till the words: **I pro- 
nounce you man and wife; whom God hath 
joined together let not man put asunder." 

**Hallelujah, Amen!" the sick woman cried. 
*'Now, Lord, old Em'ly kin die in peace." 

Hattie dropped on her knees beside the bed. 
'*Tell mamma everything, mammy, every- 
thing," she whispered. 

Wayland walked to the door, the gourds 
again struck together as he pushed them aside, 
making the same clanking sound. His face 
was stern, his chin set firm as though he had 
braced himself for a great effort. He looked 
out upon the trees, the birds; he watched the 
straight shafts of light the sun thrust through 
the breaks in the heavy foliage; he saw the 
evening shadows creeping along the brick 
walk at his feet. Impulsively he turned and 
went back to the bedside. Aunt Emily's eyes 
were closed either in sleep or prayer. 



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200 Cntne{i0ee Sftetcfied 

**Hattie," he whispered. 

She looked at him, half shyly, half sadly. 

**The bride should come out into the sun- 
light," he said. 

She arose and went with him. 

**Then you had not forgotten her," she 
answered. 

Wayland did not reply, but the gayest 
mocking-bird in the trees, whose throat was 
fullest of music, could not have expressed his 
happiness. 



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JARED KERR'S CHILDREN 



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JARED KERR'S CHILDREN 

Ferdinand Kerr was seated at his breakfast 
table. It was a long table, and an obstreper- 
ous one. How could it be otherwise with his 
own large family, and the two children of his 
brother Jared seated about it. The sunlight 
streamed merrily into the room lighting up 
happy faces; there were choruses of laughter; 
flashes from roguish eyes, showing the restless, 
joyous energy of childhood. The daily meals 
were a sort of battle ground with the children, 
they talked in concert, ate beyond reason, and 
sometimes the boys slyly pelted one another 
with bread balls. 

Ferdinand had felt it a great hardship to 
take upon himself the care of Jared 's children. 
**I was loaded to the guards already,'* he 
complained. 

The brothers had loved each other, that is 
they recognized the tie of blood, but they had 
never been congenial ; their outlook upon life, 
and estimate of it, had been from different 
viewpoints. Jared Kerr was a remarkable 
man, chiefly because having accomplished so 
ao3 



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204 Etnnt^^tt Sftetcj^ejsi 

little he had impressed himself so much upon 
those about him. He was tall, squarely built, 
his head was large, his figure massive, his hair 
and side whiskers were grizzled, not so much 
by time as by the hard life he had given him- 
self. There was no style about him, he set 
his feet down too flatly, but there was no little- 
ness of mind or manner ; the fiber of his nature 
was strong and healthful. 

There were few happier homes than his; his 
wife idolized him, his children thought there 
was never quite so fine a gentleman as their 
father. Around the fire in the long winter 
evenings he would sit and tell them stories of 
ghosts, goblins, Sinbads, Cinderellas, and 
fairies, with little Emily dimly comprehending 
on his knee, and Felix standing open-eyed to 
listen. Among his friends Jared was known 
to be kindhearted and true ; he was a lawyer, 
neither eloquent nor scholarly, but he charged 
small fees and collected them irregularly, and 
did the best he could for a client whether he 
paid him or not. 

But yellow fever swept like a simoon over 
Memphis, and Jared and his wife went down 
before it. From the beginning to near the 
close of the epidemic they labored with the 
sick, caring for the dying and the dead until 
the death cart's dreary rattle through the 



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watches of the night, and the no less desolate 
hours of the day, resounded in their ears as a 
monotone. And now when their life work 
was over, Ferdinand thought little of their 
service to humanity, but a great deal of 
the burden they had left upon his unwilling 
shoulders. As he ate his breakfast this morn- 
ing, he read a letter he found beside his plate, 
and as its contents became plain to him, he 
glanced more than once at the pretty, demure 
face of his niece Emily, who sat in a high chair 
beside his wife. He put the letter aside, and 
dispatched half a roll and drank a cup of 
cofifee. 

**It is from Margaret Warren," he said, 
meeting his wife's look of inquiry, and he 
passed the letter to her. 

There was a sudden uproar, Felix and 
Charles, his nephew and son, were in an ani- 
mated discussion, and the other children were 
vociferously taking sides. Mr. Kerr quelled 
the riot neither knowing nor caring which 
party was in the right. He was really won- 
dering what impression the letter would make 
upon his wife, for at the moment she was 
reading: **I hear Jared's daughter is beauti- 
ful and winning, my arms are eager for her. 
No one can take my son's place," here the 
writer's hand had trembled, '*but she will 



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2o6 Cenneggee Sbktttfft^ 

make her own way to our hearts." Mr. War- 
ren wrote a postscript saying he, too, wanted 
to adopt the child. 

**Come into the library, Felix,*' Mr. Ken- 
said to his nephew. And they left the break- 
fast room together. 

**I have a letter of great moment to your 
sister,** Ferdinand spoke under singular em- 
barrassment, he could not understand it in 
himself, * * and incidentally to you. Our cousin, 
Margaret Warren, has written me asking to 
adopt Emily.** 

At the words all courage and hope left 
Felix; he was fourteen years of age, far above 
the average in intelligence, far below it in 
worldly wisdom. 

**It is a great opportunity for her, lad," 
Ferdinand said, seeing the shadows grow 
around the boy*s eyes. *'They are good 
people, the Warrens, I mean.'* He placed 
his hand kindly upon Felix*s shoulder. *'You 
look like your father," he added, irrelevantly. 

The boy drew his sleeve across his eyes. 
'*I want to grow up and work for her. Uncle 
Ferd; I want to take care of her myself. 
Father told me always to look after my sister. " 
There was no mistake about it, tears were in 
his eyes. 

'*There is no need for that now; Emily 



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atatel! Itfrr'g Oti&fttiren 207 

will have more than all the rest of us, twice 
over." 

**Don*t do it, Uncle Ferdinand," he pleaded, 
**don*t send Emily away. Keep her a little 
while, and I'll take care of her, and I'll pay 
you back every cent — see if I don't." 

**It seems a pity to separate you, Felix," 
Mr. Kerr replied, **but I cannot lose the 
opportunity for your sister. ' * 

Felix rushed out of the house, everything 
was decided. Uncle Ferd never gave up a 
point. He went into a neighboring woods- 
lot, and threw himself down against the trunk 
of a fallen tree, his dog stood beside him lick- 
ing his hand in mute sympathy. He could 
not think, he could only grieve, and swear to 
himself in helpless misery. 

** Emily is going away," repeated itself con- 
tinuously in his brain. 

The wind rose and sighed a hoarse note in 
the trees, soon the sky became overcast, and 
after a time cold rain drops dashed in his face. 
Felix raised himself on one elbow, and looked 
around; the leaves had gathered in billows 
about him, protecting him from the wind and 
rain. The sun was going down, the shadows of 
evening were in the forest. He struggled to 
his feet scattering the autumn leaves in every 
direction and shook himself as though to be 



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2o8 EtnntMH ii)fcetcj^e0 

freed from a spell. Time had flown unnoted 

by him, he had spent the day in the woods. 

Calling his dog, he took his way sorrowfully 

to the house. 

« « « « « 

The parting between the brother and sister 
was simple enough. The little girl was excited 
over a journey on the cars, then the new 
clothes and beautiful dolly were engaging 
much of her attention. 

**You are not going to forget me, Emily," 
he said, with a boy's limited vocabulary. "I'll 
write to you, and send you my picture when I 
make some money and can get it taken. " The 
child seemed absorbed in other things. "And 
think about me, Emily, and learn to write and 
send me a letter, print it — ^you know. And, 
Emily!" as he saw the train about to start, 
"don't forget Felix, and remember mamma 
and papa." 

The child looked up, **Papa! mamma!" she 
cried, holding out her arms to him. "Take 
me to them, Felix!" 

The whistle blew, they hurried the boy out 
of the train, and through a mist he saw it speed- 
ing away from the station bearing Emily out of 
his life. 

"I'll be on after awhile," he said, sullenly, to 
Mr. Kerr, who proposed to walk home with him. 



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aiareb Iterr'B (ttW^xtn 209 

He waited till his uncle was out of sight, 
then turned his steps in the same direction. 
A desolate, desperate feeling was at his heart. 
He had decided to leave the city, but where 
to go was the question. ''A boy of fourteen 
ought to get along somehow, and when I'm 
rich, Emily won't be put oflF with strangers," 
he said, bitterly. 

He let himself in at the front door, and 
went directly to the family sitting-room. 

**I am going away, Uncle Ferdinand," he 
said. 

Mr. Kerr turned upon him sharply, 
•'Where?" 

'*I do not know. To Kansas City, Denver, 
Salt Lake, maybe in the mines, maybe out on 
a cattle-ranch, wherever I can take root." 

'*Take root, the devil; you will starve! 
You must not go, Felix," growing milder, 
**you will succeed here, and it is hard for our 
people to do well commercially. We are of 
the old school, we are not money getters, the 
new blood outstrips us." 

**I am sorry to go against you; you have 
been kind to me, Uncle Ferd," Felix could 
not remember ever to have liked him, " but I 
must go." And he did go that very night. 
« « « « « 

"Is Felix Kerr here?" The man who uttered 



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iio Cenneisfjsiee 5»ftetcte0 

these words was on horseback, and his voice 
rang loud and clear through the camp. 

Felix, hearing his own name called, hurried 
to the door of the cabin. *' Ringgold! Hello, 
old friend, I'm glad to seeyoul Come in." 

Before they had taken their seats, the new- 
comer said : 

"I've got a good prospect for a contract in 
Tennessee, how would you like to go back 
with me?" 

** First rate, if you can make it to my ad- 
vantage. I've drifted about out here, working 
hard, and being poor till I*m tired. But I 
can't face Uncle Ferd unless I've got a job. 
I*ll stay here eight years more first." 

They talked over the arrangements and set- 
tled upon what share of the profits Felix 
would have. 

**I've made a mighty poor showing so far in 
life, Ringgold." The thought of the old 
home made him retrospective and discon- 
tented, "but I can tell Uncle Ferd I haven't 
starved, that's about all I've kept from doing. 
But, Alex, this looks like a chance. If these 
men stand up to you," laying the words off 
with his finger, **we both will be well fixed. 
And then I can send for Emily." He looked 
around, found his pipe and filled it. 

Ringgold was tilted back in a rude camp 



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aiareb lterr'0 (tti&fttiren 211 

chair, but he shifted his position to look at 
Felix; he had so rarely heard him speak of his 
sister. 

*'I've not seen her since they took her away 
twelve years ago." The words came rapidly, 
'*but we pass through her home on our way 
over, and I must stop for a day. I've kept all 
her letters,** growing more confidential, '*from 
the little scraps she printed to **Deer Budder*' 
to this very educated, stylish one.*' He 
tossed over a beautifully addressed envelope 
to his companion. ** Somehow, I like the first 
ones best. Ringgold,*' folding his arms on the 
pine table between them, ** sometimes, when 
I am lonesome, I take out Emily's letters and 
her picture when she was a little girl — you 
know they call her Edith now — and I read the 
letters, and look at the picture till I can almost 
see her, and it is better than company." 
« « « « « 

The ground was covered with snow, the 
mountains looked white and hoary until the 
sun flashed them into myriads of diamonds. 
Beauty, brilliancy, and a dancing, magnificent 
expanse of light were everywhere. From the 
car window, Felix looked out upon the flying 
scenes and his heart was jubilant; an intoxica- 
tion, a frenzy of joy seized him. And still the 
train rolled over broad stretches of prairie and 



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212 Cenne^jsee Sbitttf^tfi 

thundered through mountains or wound un- 
falteringly about dizzy, fathomless canyons. 

At Cincinnati they waited for instructions, 
and Felix spent the time looking about the 
city, and buying himself a suit of clothes. 
**A little above my limit,'* he thought as he 
paid for them, *'but I want to look nice to 
Emily. I wonder if I shall know her; she 
must be tall, all the Kerrs are tall, and most 
of them good-looking." 

When he returned to the hotel he found 
Ringgold standing on the pavement waiting 
for him. 

**I am in great trouble, Felix," he said, *'the 
contract came so changed that I was forced 
to decline it." 

The friends looked at each other. 

**What next?" Felix asked, with a grim 
smile, *'old partner, you have made a poor 
calculation." 

**A deucedly poor one, but I can not return 
to the camp, the life is too hard. I shall go 
on to Tennessee." So they parted. 

Felix decided to go back, but first he would 
see Emily. He felt a little stunned over Ring- 
gold's failure; it left him with no pleasant 
prospect to hold out to his sister, so the rest 
of the journey to her home was taken with 
many misgivings. 



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Sjlareb Iterr'K Oti^Ubren 213 

He did not go directly to call, but walked 
more than once past the handsome stone resi- 
dence, set back in a small lawn, upon which 
the blue grass peeped out green and tender 
through the snow. There were several pieces 
of statuary and a fountain to one side, while 
lions couchant guarded the door. 

**We could not have given you all this, little 
girl," he said and turned away, Felix walked 
many miles about the city before he came 
back and mounted the steps. 

"Is Miss Warren at home?** he demanded, 
sternly, of the man who opened the door. 

The butler looked him over carefully, and 
replied dubiously that he would see. He 
showed Felix into the library, to the left as you 
enter, the second door down the long, broad 
hall. The visitor noted everything painfully, 
minutely. 

The man returned almost immediately, and 
said that Miss Warren would be excused, but 
if there was any message to leave it with him. 
The butler's expression forbade the thought 
of a social visit. 

Felix rose to his feet, the room whirled 
about him. He did not know what to do or 
say. Of the laws, the usages of society, he 
was totally ignorant. Oh, conventionality, 
thou art a good servant. 



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214 Cntne00ee Sbkttt'^tB 

He made one step toward the door, then 
turning suddenly, he tore a piece of paper 
from his note-book, — he had not thought to 
bring a card, — and wrote, ** Felix Dandridge 
Kerr. " " Give her this, " he said, * * I will wait. ' ' 

The clock on the mantel ticked loudly. 
One, two, five, ten minutes passed, and then 
the door opened and a young girl entered the 
room. She came toward him gracefully, un- 
emotionally. He saw the light upon her 
flaxen head and the blue glints in her eyes. 
He noted the pose, the style, the exquisite 
beauty of her face. There was, too, the look 
of the Kerrs, but it was prouder, more 
worldly, more fashionable. Edith was not 
long in crossing the room, yet it seemed to 
him hours. 

She went up to him, looked into his eyes, 
and gave him her hand, then, after ever so 
slight a hesitation, but he saw it, she raised 
her face to be kissed. 

*'Why did you not send up your name at 
first, Felix?" she asked, seating herself in a 
chair near the one into which he sank. The 
tones of her voice were like an exquisite mem- 
ory to him. "I might have missed seeing 
you. I was lying down, that is the reason I 
kept you waiting." There was a troubled 
look on her face; this calm, self-contained 



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aiareb lterr'0 ©Jfttiren 215 

girl was stirred. ** How are you? You look 
strong and well," placing her hand gently on 
his arm. 

The light from the log fire blazed fitfully. 
There was a stillness, a suppression in every- 
thing. The splendid books in the heavy cases 
lining the walls, the massive writing desk 
and table, the deep-seated leather chairs, the 
softened light in the room, all seemed transi- 
tory and unreal to Felix. He was not awed 
by the surroundings, but bewildered by the 
change in his sister. The time so long looked 
forward to had come, he saw Edith after nearly 
thirteen years, and — and — 

Her question interrupted his sudden reverie. 
**I am well,** he replied. *'I was in Cincin- 
nati on business, and ran over to see you. 
You are a grown young lady now, Emily, or, 
Edith, I should say.** 

'*Yes, Edith is my middle name. Mother 
and I like it best. Euphony was not studied 
when the combination was made,** she smiled 
faintly, **but you may call me Emily if you 
prefer it. And I am grown, Felix ; when one 
is nineteen the fact is beyond question. * * 

**I had not realized it,*' he said. 

Somehow it was hard for him to make con- 
versation, thoughts crowded so thickly upon 
him that they stifled utterance. Dimly he 



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2i6 ^tnntMn SbttttfttB 

felt that their lives had rolled away from each 
other, and now could never touch. It came 
to him suddenly, the luxury, the affection in 
which she had been reared ; strange he had not 
thought of these things before. 

Edith was the less constrained of the two. 
Without being effusive she manifested a desire 
to be pleasant. The interview might be a 
trial, but the relationship was accepted. 

**I recall the old days better than you would 
think," she began again, after vainly trying 
to make him talk. The words came quietly, 
almost lightly from her lips. 

'*I was very small, you know, just a little 
over six. I remember papa and mamma, and 
how I used to dream of them after I came 
here. And the railway station the day I left 
our uncle's^ and the way I cried for you,'* she 
was smiling now, **and my sore, little heart 
till I became interested in the train." 

*'0h, don't," he cried, lifting his hand ap- 
pealingly. The time was too sacred to him 
to have it so lightly spoken of. 

** Emily, I have wanted to do something for 
you," the words were flung out desperately, 
'*and I have felt like a reprobate not to be 
able to do it. I promised our father that if 
anything happened to him, I would take care 
of you, and I haven't done it." 



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Slaretf WinVa OEtiUbrnt 217 

Edith's eyes opened in blank surprise or 
dread as he continued. 

*'I hate for you to be cared for by strangers, 
when you have me. Sometimes I wish I was 
dead." 

**By strangers, what do you mean?" she 
began, hotly, then seeing his distressed face, 
'*I am not with strangers, Felix, there is per- 
fect affection, and confidence between my 
parents, and their only child." 

He arose to go. There was a forlornness 
about him which Edith noticed. She hesitated 
a moment, then said: ** Would you like to see 
my mother? Father is away, but he will be 
at home to dinner. Will you not stay and dine 
with us?" She caught her breath. There 
was a dinner party there that evening. 

But she need not be uneasy, her hospitality 
was safe. 

**No, I cannot stay. Tell your parents of 
my visit, if you care to, and say that I leave 
for the West to-night." 

Felix was moving toward the door, but 
stopped and looked back at her, he wanted to 
fix her face in his memory. 

Edith misinterpreted the glance. *' Felix, 
let me do something for you," she said, kindly. 
**I assure you it will give me pleasure. Do you 
need money, I can easily let you have it." 



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2i3 Cenne00ee Skiitt^tB 

Her words cut him like a lash. There was 
no evidence of being sorry to have him go, 
nor intimation of having been glad to see him, 
he was just an unpleasant duty that she hoped 
to fee away. His head grew hot, strange 
lights flashed before his eyes. Why had he 
not gone before? Why had he ever come at all? 
And then he realized that the plain, custom- 
made clothes he wore (however extravagant 
they might be to him) were mean, and com- 
mon, and misshapen in her world. 

** Excuse me,'* the voice was very like her 
own, *'you strangely misunderstand my inter- 
est. I did not seek out my only sister for per- 
sonal profit. In my world, Edith,** she noted 
the change in calling her, ** there still remains 
honor and loyalty. Our education has been 
different ; mine was attained in a hard, perplex- 
ing school, but I have learned not to mix up 
affection with sordid motives. Good-by." 

That was all. Edith, her face white and 
set, stood where Felix had left her. "He 
looked like papa,** she said aloud, *'he looked 
like papa.'* The sudden resemblance stirred 
her as it might have done Felix. The father's 
memory was an exquisite tenderness. * ' Papa, * ' 
she said again, and sank into a chair, covering 
her face with her hands. The shadows crept 
into the room, the clock continued its tattoo. 



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Sjlareb Iterr'd OtfiUbren 219 

**Are you here, my daughter?** a sweet 
woman's voice filled the room. **I went to your 
sanctum, but Clarisse told me you were in the 
library. You have had a visitor?* ' inquiringly. 

** Mother, it was my brother, Felix." 

Mrs. Warren bent and kissed her, drawing 
the fair head against her breast. 

"Well, and why did not you send for me? I 
should like to be cordial with him for your 
dear sake, though I acknowledge that I am 
jealous of every one you knew before you 
came to us." 

**He did not want to see you.** 

They sat together in the twilight, Edith 
nestling close to her mother's heart. 

That evening Miss Warren sat down to an 
elegantly appointed dinner; she was never 
more beautiful, nor more winning, — the 
shadow of the afternoon had added to her 
charm. The music was low and sweet, and 
the table was laden with flowers and brilliant 
with wit and merriment; but gowned in satin 
and rare filmy lace, and seated beside the man 
she loved, more than once Edith's heart 
bounded, for the face of her brother came to 
her, and she again realized the wonderful 
resemblance it bore to her father. **He looks 
like papa!" she repeated mentally. **He looks 
like papa!" 



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220 EtnntBun SbttttlftB 



In a sleeping coach going westward, a man 
tossed as one possessed. '*I am nothing to 
her," he said. 

The train rolled on ; he put up the curtain 
and looked out into the night; it was cold, 
bright, and clear. A great moon was rising, 
and he watched the stars grow pale; the 
change was going on silently ; suns were being 
obscured by a satellite because it was near. 
The traveler threw himself back upon his pil- 
low ; he had expected affection to flourish and 
grow strong through years of development, 
and separation, and change. 

As Felix lay there full of self-depreciation, 
the words that Ringgold had often repeated 
from Amiel, came to him : 

** *Alas, with a little more ambition and a 
little more good luck, a different man might 
have been made of me, and such as my youth 
gave promise of.' *' 

He sat up in his berth, the car was growing 
bright, a new day had dawned. When the 
newsboy brought around the papers, he 
smiled to find himself buying a society jour- 
nal. Turning over the pages he found an 
elaborate account of an entertainment given 
by the Warrens, with many words of praise for 
the daughter of the house. 



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**Yes,** he thought, **she is feted and sought 

after; life's good things come to her as by 

right, but the little Emily whom I knew and 

loved died years ago." 

***** 

In this world of change, of chance, of cir- 
cumstance, when environment is one's master, 
and heredity fixes one's aim, how many defeats 
are nobler than success ; how much success is 
but the wave crest of destiny. 



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JOE'S LAST TESTAMENT 



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JOE'S LAST TESTAMENT 

Joe Crawford's **piece of ground" was three 
or four miles from town, but the distance did 
not prevent his worshiping at Amory Chapel. 
"Hit 'pears lak I feels better en dat dyah 
chu'ch'n anywhar else," he confided to Deacon 
Gollidy, "ther place 'min's me o' ther parst." 

Joe was an old man ; he walked slowly, he 
was absent-minded, and he took little interest 
in present day affairs. In a sense, too, he was 
desolate, all the people for whom he had 
cared in his youth were dead. This Sunday 
afternoon he jogged lazily along the accus- 
tomed way, the wind blew gently across the 
fields, the equinoctial storms had left the air 
pure and bracing. Before reaching the chapel 
he turned into the Hornshire Pike, much to 
the dissatisfaction of Snap, his horse, who 
pricked up his ears and pulled stubbornly at 
the bridle. 

**I ain' gwyn' ter chu'ch dis ebenin'," Joe 

explained, stroking the animal's mane, "Ise 

arter seein' my white fo'ks, dat is all whar is 

lef o' 'em. Ole marster an' ole mistiss is 

225 



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226 ZtnntBBtt Sbttt^tB 

done gone, an' all dyar chilern too, 'ceptin' 
Miss Marg'ret — Ise boun' fer dyah now." 

Snap's hoofs struck the turnpike with sym- 
pathetic regularity. 

** Hit's been many er year sence I waited on 
any o' 'em," he continued, still stroking the 
horse, **but whin ther chilern wus growin* up 
I uster teck Miss Mary and Miss Marg'ret ter 
school ev'y mornin', an' fetch 'em home et 
night. Ole miss warn en no ways oneasy 
'bout 'em whin Joe driv ther carryall back- 
'ards an* fur'ards." 

He raised his head and looked across the 
grain fields and sighed. This was the same 
country, the houses and stone fences had little 
changed, but those who, to him, had given 
color and significance to the landscape would 
be in it no more forever. 

'*An' whin them chilern grow'd up," he 
mused on, **I driv ther big kerrige fer 'em, an* 
dee wus ther fines* youn* ladies en ther town, er 
en ther kintry urrer fer dat matter. Ole mars- 
ter wus dat proud o* 'em he couldn't har'ly 
wa'k," he laughed, swaying his body to the 
motion of the horse. **01e marster know'd 
whut wus whut, I kin tell yo*, whin he mek er 
speech et ther barbecue, he holler dat bold 
yo* could hear him ez fur ez ther big spring 
'tother side o' town. Dyar ain no sich folks 



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$oe^0 lLa0t Ce0tament 227 

ez ole marster lef," he concluded, shaking 
his head solemnly. 

He had reached his destination, and Snap 
was rubbing his nose up and down the big gate 
post trying to throw ofif the hoop thai held it 
together. Joe slid to the ground, hitched his 
horse securely, and went around the side way 
to the kitchen. 

**I heeard Miss Marg'ret wus heah," he said 
to the cook, **an' Ise come ter see her." He 
pulled ofif his hat and scratched his head in 
nervous excitement. 

The back porch of this middle Tennessee 
country place looked upon a yard deep in blue 
grass ; the sward was not cropped and closely 
shaven as it is in cities, but the long blades of 
grass bent indolently, or stood straight and 
strong, or blew whither-so-ever it or the wind 
listed. Pear-trees grew along the line of 
fence separating the yard from the garden, 
and to the right, peeping over the brow of the 
hill, was the roof of the stone spring house. 
Joe waited on the veranda. 

*'How d'ye do. Uncle Joe, I am glad to see 
you," Mrs. Landon exclaimed, hurrying out 
to speak with him. There was genuine kind- 
ness in her voice, and she shook his out- 
stretched, horny hand, *'I was asking yesterday 
of you, and how you were getting along." 



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228 Ztnnt^Btt Sbfuttt^tfi 

*'Thanky\ Miss Marg'ret, Ise jes toler'ble 
bein' ez I done got ole,'* he stopped to collect 
his thoughts, the past was crowding out the 
present, **I t'inks o' ole marster," he went 
on, after a few moments, **an* ther fambly, an' 
ther ole place, an* ther blacks whar wus on 
hit er heap lately. I sees 'em night an' day." 

Some pigeons flew into the yard, lighting on 
the ground near them. 

**I hear you married again. Uncle Joe, and 
have become prosperous. I hope your last 
wife is as good a woman as Aunt Mahaly was. ' ' 

**Ise putty well off," he agreed, answering 
one part of her remark; then, hesitatingly, 
**but I hain' seed nor peace sence I maired 
ther lars time. I wus lonesome arter Mahaly 
died, an' I thought Lissy Driver wus er good 
'oman, but I nuver sense myse'f 'bout dat 
dyah boy o* hern. He chase ther hens off 
ther nestes, an* he drown me leetle pigs, 
an' he open ther gate arter dark an' tun' ther 
stock inter ther fiel', an' she nuver scole 'im 
et all; she say * Jim's mischeevous, but dyah 
ain' nor harm en 'im.' I th' ashed ther boy 
un day, an' Lissy got pow'ful mad, an' lowed 
she warn gwine ter let n'body tech her chile. 
Arter dat Jim got worser, an' he mammy say 
she kyahn stop him, dough I seed her larf et 
him behine her han*, an' ther boy seed her, 



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3)oe'0 Ea0t Cejeitatnent 229 

too." A wearied expression settled upon the 
dark, wrinkled face. 

**I stuck hit out, mistiss, fer nigh erbout 
two year, den un Monday mornin' I sot down 
b'fo' Lissy, an' I said, sez I, *yo' is er good 
'oman, I ain got nor fault ter fin' wi' yo*, 
but I kyahn stan' Jim n' longer.' An' I tole 
her ter come Ion' wi' me ter ther cou't an' 
ther jedge 'Id 'vide ev'y thin' I got 'twixt us, 
('ca'se I 'minded ole marster useter say ter 
be squar' an' hones'). Lissy wus glad ter do 
hit, an' now dat boy doan' meek way wi' her 
truck lak he did wi' mine." 

Joe drew a long breath, he was relieved to 
be through with a disagreeable story. 

'*Mebbe hit's ther trouble Ise haid mecks 
me t'ink o' gwyin' up yonder, "he said, rais- 
ing one finger above his head, **an' whin I 
heeard you wus en town, I sez ter myse'f, 
* Hit's ther lars chance yo'U git, Joe, so yo' 
better see Miss Marg'ret, fer whin she come 
ergin yo' won' be heah." 

**I hope you will live for a long time," was 
the reply, *'I should be sorry to return and 
not find you." 

The old man was leaving. In going down 
the steps, he frightened away the pigeons; 
they flew low, flapping their white wings over 
the yard. 



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230 Ztnnt^^tt Sitetc^ejs 

**What can we do for you, Uncle Joe?" 
She held her purse in her hand, and opened it 
to make him a present. 

But he stepped back with a courtly dignity 
he might have borrowed from his old master. 

**I doan* need nothin' 'tall, mistiss, but," 
looking earnestly into her face, '*ef yo'll gi* 
me er pictur o' yo* an' Marse Robert, I'd be 
mighty proud. Jes ter set 'em on my mantel- 
piece, whar I kin look et 'em constant, an' 
so's dem whar comes ter see me'll know dat 
yo' thought dat much o' ole Joe ter trus' him 
wi em. 

The sun glinting through trees fell upon his 
white hair and brought out the blue film on 
his eyes. 

Shadows lay across the turnpike as Joe rode 
away, his mind fuller of the past than ever 
before. 

"Ise gwine ter hab fine frames put on dese 
head likenesses," he said, **an* keep 'em till 
I dies." He was lost in thought while the 
horse carried him safely homeward. **I doan 
know ef she's got anyt'ing o' her own," he 
pursued, **jes by herse'f dat she kin spen', an' 
not ax n'body nor odds — I doan know — ole 
marster nuver haid so much to'ards ther larst. " 

He fed and watered his horse and ate his 
supper. 



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glfoi'0 Uaist Ceistatnint 231 

**She faver ole marster, an* ole miss, too,** 
he said aloud, watching Snap disposing of the 
fodder, **an* dey*s gone, an* so*s my Mahaly. 
Dey is all up dyah whar dyar ain nor black 
ner white — an* Ise gwine soon myse'f — I doan 
keer how soon. I kin tell ole marster I seed 
Miss Marg'ret, an' she gi' me her pictur'." 

A mocking-bird in the tree before the door 
began to sing, and Joe was lulled to sleep by 
the melody. 

He waked stiff and unrefreshed, his limbs 
ached, his head throbbed, a buzzing sound 
was in his ears. 

'*I must git inter town," he thought, hob- 
bling across the room, and opening the door; 
then he sat on the step in front of it. A 
drove of young turkeys flew to the top rail of 
the fence, and the morning sun found irrides- 
cent shades in their bronze feathers. He took 
pleasure in these for a moment, but his atten- 
tion was diverted by his dog running rapidly 
to the house. Joe whistled to him. *'I warn 
yo' ter f oiler me ter town arter breakfus," he 
said, conversationally, **dyah alius wus er dog 
arter ther kerrige whin I driv ole marster. 
Spot, an' I laks ter hab *em runnin' behine 
me ter dis day— ole marster knowed how ter 
do." 

That evening Joe's face expressed great 



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23^ Cntne00ee Sitetc^eis 

contentment. **Ther bizness is fixed," he 
said, '*my larmp is trimmed an' er burnin'." 

The farmers were mowing hay, its grateful 
breath was on the air. Fragments of song 
came from the drivers of piled up wagons, and 
from the dusky toilers in the fields. Joe's 
partner, Dan Ferguson, and a **hired hand" 
were in a rush, it might rain, and the old man 
appreciating the situation worked with them. 

**I went Ion' wi* ther res' ter day," he said 
to Rev. Jonathan Lynn, **an' I'm pow'ful 
tired ter night." 

The two sat together at Joe's supper table. 
The parson was partaking of a comfortable 
meal, and at the same time considering how 
best to put forward a request for a subscrip- 
tion to a church fund. 

"You're er good man. Brother Crawford," 
he said, in leaving, **I wish I had more like 
you in my congregation." 

Joe was glad of the commendation, glad, 
too, of the ten dollars that had been trans- 
ferred from his own to Brother Jonathan's 
pocket, and he went to bed as a child wearied 
of play. 

Just before day Dan, sleeping in the next 
room, heard him cry: 

"I'll be dyah presenly, ole marster! Git 
up Choc! G'long Roc!" He raised himself 



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3Koi'0 ILa0t Ci0tament 233 

on one arm, and held his hand as though he 
were driving. **Dis kerrige is monstrous 
heavy," dropping back exhausted, **Ise feeard 
ole marster'll git tired o' waitin'." 

Dan tried to rouse him, but failed. 

**Ther wheels is done come off," he said, 
wearily, **ther hosses is got lame — I kyahn — 
I ky — ahn git ter yo' — Yas!" A light broke 
over his face. **Dyah's ole marster standin' 
et ther big gate!" Then he fell asleep eter- 
nally, 

♦ * * * * 

The lawyer stood in Joe's front door a legal 
document in his hand, and with it he waved 
aside Lissy and her son. 

** Nothing must be touched," he said firmly, 
'*till it is known what disposition has been 
made of this estate." 

Joe's dog walked restlessly about the yard, 
old Snap gazed inquiringly over the fence, and 
many people crowded the house. Rev. Lynn, 
Deacon Gollidy, Mahaly's brother, and Lissy, 
her every expression suggesting proprietor- 
ship, were the most conspicuous and interested 
part of the company. 

**I will end this suspense," the legal adviser 
thought, and entering the house, he took his 
stand in the center of the room. 

The preliminaries of the will were passed 



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234 €ntnr00ie Sbttt^tB 

almost unnoticed. Then the parson smiled, 
for Joe had left fifty dollars to the church. 
Every head was thrust eagerly forward as the 
lawyer continued : 

**The residue of my estate I give and be- 
queath to Mrs. Margaret Landon, wife of 
Robert Landon." There was a general shuf- 
fling of feet, **because she is the last of my 
old marster's children, and because of the 
respect I have for the whole family, living and 
dead. Ther picturs dat she gi' me," here the 
attorney had quoted Joe verbatim, **I warnt 
sent back ter her, an' I warn ter tell Miss 
Marg'ret dat dyah n' harm been done 'em 
ca'se dey sot on ole Joe's mantelpiece fer er 
while." 



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PLACES OF POWER 



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PLACES OF POWER 

Happy Valley was the homestead of the 
Brethertons ; the governor-elect and his fam- 
ily, being the sole living representatives of the 
name, would call no other place their resi- 
dence. Three generations of the family slept 
in the private burying ground on the hill ; the 
magnolias rustled above the graves, and with 
the wide-spreading weeping willows and gaunt 
Lombardy poplars kept time to the symphony 
of the wind. One might read on the moss- 
grown headstones, ** Killed at King's Moun- 
tain," **Shot by the Indians," **Lost on the 
Nickajack Expedition." No one knew why 
the place and later the neighborhood were 
called Happy Valley, except the usual tradi- 
tion, believed by the negroes on the plantation, 
that a company of early settlers, hotly pursued 
by the savages, had followed the course of an 
eagle and found a safe retreat beyond the 
mountain. The house, though never fine, was 
substantial looking, its architecture in a sense 
illustrating the character of the sturdy Scotch- 
man who entered the lands and helped to fell 
337 



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23S ^tnntMH Btttt'^tsi 

the logs that were piled up to make his primi- 
tive cabin. This first Bretherton left many- 
books printed in the old S, which now occupied 
favored places on the library shelves. But the 
sons and daughters leaned more to agriculture 
than literature ; they loved the rye and wheat 
fields, billowed as the sea, and the wide 
stretching stands of corn. The homestead 
to-day presented the appearance of recent 
departure; the great front doors were folded 
back and every gate was open, not excepting 
the garden wicker, through which Bessie 
Bretherton had gone before starting to gather 
the yellow and purple crocuses that were show- 
ing above the ground. 

**Ise sho* sorry dey's gone,*' Uncle Eph said 
to his son who stood with him in the road 
waving farewell, *'Ise sorry, I d'clar'." 

**I ain't, daddy," Monroe replied, **fer mar- 
ster is got ter be a gre't man," he struck his 
fists together, making a resounding noise and 
gesturing with his head, **ev'ry whar I goes 
dee people is ta'kin' o' Marse Roger." He 
slipped the chain over the gate, then con- 
tinued: **Ise mighty proud Miss Charlotte's 
gwine ter hab us up dyah." Monroe was 
afraid of his father, so controlled, somewhat, 
his natural exuberance of expression. 

They walked slowly to the house, and though 



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Vlattsi of ¥olDir 239 

the wind was blowing with increasing fury, 
and the temperature changing rapidly, Uncle 
Eph's coat remained unbuttoned. 

**M'nroe," he said, looking about him in a 
grieved way, **hit 'pears lak t' me whin dee 
airs habin* ther big time, Miss Marthy's chile 
oughter be dyah, too, wid ther res' ; Ise been 
er prayin* fer hit nigh 'bout er mont'." 

His son closed one eye and regarded him 
knowingly. 

**Marse M'nteith's done come back, I seed 
'im whin I caired marster's letter ter th' office. 
He wus Ion' wi' Mr. Bridgeses Willum an' he 
nuver say how d'ye ter me." 

♦ * ♦ ♦ * 

The sun was down, and the stars were 
twinkling a half light in the garden where 
Monroe was covering the hot-beds. 

**Hit's gwine ter freeze," he muttered to 
himself, **an' I ain' gwine ter let all this truck 
spile fer ther need o' er leetle kiver. Now, 
dat's good an' warm," smoothing the sacks 
over the glass, and making them secure with 
stones. ** What's dat!" he said, raising his 
head and listening intently. 

There was the clatter of hoofs on the lawn 

** 'Fo' God, he's done come home," Monroe 
said, hurrying in the direction of the house. 
Horses were running at full speed up the 



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240 Etnntfisitt Sftetcj^nt 

drive, and he heard loud laughter, and good- 
natured oaths. 

** Monroe! Monroe!" 

The call was followed by heavy tramping on 
the front porch, and by the bell ringing vio- 
lently enough to awaken the seven sleepers ; 
then came impatient knocking with a whip 
handle on the door. 

Monroe ran as fleetly as a deer across the 
side yard, and in through the house, throwing 
everything open as he went, and stood before 
the newcomers frightened and out of breath. 

** Where in the devil have you been!" Mon- 
teith demanded of him with more vim that 
temper. "Walk in, boys," to his compan- 
ions, and make yourselves at home," going in 
advance of the four or five men to the library. 
** Build up a big fire, Monroe, pile on the logs 
till I tell you to stop, for I'm frozen to the 
marrow. That's something like," spreading 
his hands over the blaze, "now get us a good 
supper, and be quick about it, too ; cook plenty 
of eggs, and take that for your pains," throw- 
ing several pieces of silver after him. 

* * ♦ « * 

When Roger Bretherton, accompanied by 
his wife and daughter, reached the capital of 
the state, he found the usually quiet city mak- 
ing ready for a celebration. The national 



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^lattsi of VotDir 241 

colors were displayed in front of business 
houses and were festooned about the doors and 
porches of private residences ; open carriages 
dashed through the principal streets; bands 
played patriotic airs; and drum beats an- 
nounced the presence of state troops or 
cadets. Marshals, decorated with gay sashes, 
rode up and down a line of procession extend- 
ing from the Jackson House to the capitol. 

**This is a proud day for me." 

From the hotel window the governor-elect 
looked down upon the scene, and spoke as one 
thinking aloud. 

**And forme." His wife came and stood 
beside him, resting a hand upon his arm. 

Roger Bretherton was tall and handsome; 
his features were strong, his presence com- 
manding. ''He looked like a great man and 
not like a mean one." 

**My success has been less of a surprise to 
you than to me, Charlotte," he observed. 

**Yes, to me nothing seems too high, too 
great for you." 

Sunlight flooded the room, flashing back 
from the pier-glass mirror, and glittering in 
the crystal chandeliers. The continued cheer- 
ing outside rose and fell in waves of sound. 

* * Bretherton ! Bretherton ! ' * the people 
shouted, *' Bretherton! Bretherton!" 



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343 ^tnnttifitt SbMtlit^ 

The husband and wife regarded each other 
in gratified silence. **The moment has ar- 
rived," he said, bending to kiss her, **I should 
like to see you when I take the oath of ofl&ce. * ' 

There was no opportunity for another word, 
the folding doors were thrown open, and the 
retiring governor, followed by his staff and 
the party leaders from the different divisions 
of the state, entered the room. 

The cheering became louder, and the excite- 
ment greater down in front. 

**Come on, Bretherton," Governor Maxwell 
said, laughing, **the people are clamoring for 
the sacrifice, there is no going backward now. ' * 
And locking his arm in that of his friend, he 
led him down the corridor, through the ladies' 
entrance to the street. An open carriage, 
decorated with flags and drawn by four spirited 
horses, awaited them, and amid music and 
booming cannon, the procession moved slowly, 
because of the crowd, to the State House. 
Arrived in the Senate chamber, the inaugural 
party quickly formed, filed oUt into the ro- 
tunda, past the statue of the commonwealth's 
greatest hero, up the steps to the picture 
gallery, and on through the library to the 
south front of the building. 

As they waited for silence, the governor- 
elect took in the scene before him. He was 



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yiact0 of Votoir 243 

distinctly conscious of the sunlight falling 
through the naked, interlapping trees ; of the 
brilliant blue of the sky, of the mass of kindly 
faces upturned to his own. Then his eyes 
followed the sloping ground to the river, 
where the water glistened calm and cold. 

**The personal element is what interests me 
now,"^ he thought, ** other executives have 
come and gone, but to-day I am here — I am 
king." 

**Bretherton starts oflf well," the judge who 
had administered the oath whispered to Gov- 
ernor Maxwell, as they stood together, listen- 
ing to the inaugural address. **I hear he is 
going to handle the state sovereignty question 
in a masterly manner. But look ! He is ex- 
cited — he seems to forget!" 

*'Stage fright," Maxwell muttered, but he 
was concerned. **This is not lik^ Roger — 
Ah, he is all right now." 

The speaker took a step forward, bracing 
himself with one hand against the pillar of the 
portico, and finished his address without 
further hesitation, but some of his best periods 
escaped his memory, and his strongest argu- 
ment for the perpetuation of the Union was 
unconsciously omitted — the enthusiasm of 
newly acquired honor and power had died 
within him. 



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244 EmntBun Sbt^t^ 

"What is the matter, Roger? You have 
seemed tired and careworn for hours. Do the 
affairs of state already drag you down?" Mrs. 
Bretherton spoke lightly. The day had held 
nothing but pleasure for her. 

**No, a night's rest is all I need. This 
reception business," he tried to smile, *'you 
will have to do the most of it, my dear." 

She was amused. "So my duties are as- 
signed, are they? I accept them for Bessie 
and myself. Were you not proud of our 
daughter to-day?" 

"Yes, yes," he spoke, absently. 

His distrait manner troubled her, and bend- 
ing forward, she gazed searchingly into his 
face. He became restless under the scrutiny. 

"I do not think I am quite well, Martha — 
Charlotte," he instantly corrected himself. 
Never in 'their married life of nineteen years 
had he before called her by his first wife's 
name. Weary, he leaned his head against the 
cushion of the chair, and her fingers smoothed 
the hair back from his brow. 

"Something troubles you, and you will not 
tell me." 

"Yes," sitting erect and throwing off the 
languor that oppressed him." I saw my son, 
Monteith, in the crowd to-day." 

**Monteith! Roger, you must be mistaken.*' 



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¥lact0 of Votoei; 245 

**I saw him, Charlotte, his eyes were blood- 
shot, his face eager, and no laborer in that 
throng was more meanly clad than he." 

**Yes," she exclaimed, losing all self con- 
trol, **he comes here to disgrace us! You must 
get him out of the city — give him money — ^any- 
thing he wants — Bessie's future must not be 
compromised by his misconduct." 

Governor Bretherton's face became stern as 
he moved his chair away from her. **I trust 
Bessie will remember a fact, which her mother 
ignores, that the young man is her half- 
brother." 

He pressed a hand over his eyes as one 
fagged and spent. **My duty is clear in the 
matter," he went on, **if my son will consent 
to return home, we must receive him," and 
crossing the room he pulled the bell. ** Mon- 
roe," he said, speaking the moment it was 
answered, **did you see your young master in 
the crowd this morning?" 

**Yas, sar, he wus up dyar en dee cap'tol 
groun's — " 

Bretherton stopped him, for he wanted only 
the direct answer to the question. 

**Then go and find him — this night — and 
tell him that I say to come to me — if he will 
not return, remain with him." 

''There is no possibility of having things as 



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246 Cenne00ee Sbttttf^tsi 

one would like in this world," Mrs. Bretherton 
said, when discussing the matter half an hour 
later with her daughter. **Monteith is in 
town, and your father has sent Monroe after 
him, and he and his vagabond associates will 
bring reproach upon the executive mansion." 

**Do not borrow trouble, mamma," the 
young girl exclaimed, **we could not keep him 
at Happy Valley, much the less here." A 
shadow swept across Bessie's face. **I feel 
dreadfully about him. You remember he has 
always been good to me. Edward Morgan 
was saying this evening," she continued, 
**that all men are responsible for their acts. 
I disagreed with him, because I thought of 
Monteith's unreasoning recklessness." As 
she spoke, she strongly resembled her father. 
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

Mrs. Bretherton rose earlier than was her 
custom the following morning, and in true 
housewifely way moved from room to room, 
directing the corps of well-trained servants. 

**You have done well," she said, approv- 
ingly, glancing down the long reception-room, 
*'soon all the evidences of disorder will be 
gone. James," to the butler, ** leave Eph and 
Matilda to finish here, and go to your regular 
work, for Governor Bretherton will be wanting 
his breakfast in half an hour." 



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¥Iact0 of VolDtc 247 

Then unfolding the morning paper, she 
crossed the hall to the library, which was a 
front room, and the most home-like place in 
the establishment. The blazing hickory logs 
threw out a deliciously pungent odor, and the 
tall andirons made flame faces at each other 
with the rapidity and zest of circus clowns. 
She seated herself in a great leather chair, and 
began to read. **This is as it should be," she 
thought, seeing the many columns devoted to 
the inauguration. **I shall send copies to my 
friends at Happy Valley." 

She read the editorials, glanced at the dis- 
patches, and then found herself gazing at great 
glaring headlines. Her head swam, her eyes 
grew dim as, putting up one hand, she seemed 
to ward off a blow. 

**I wish he had come home," she said 
aloud, **we might have saved him this." 
She rose impulsively, and folding the paper, 
slipped it behind a picture hanging low on 
the wall. 

* ♦ ♦ ♦ * 

Governor Bretherton pushed back his chair 
from the breakfast table, and sent for the 
morning paper. 

The sunlight had caught in the glass, and 
was showering prismatic lights upon the dam- 
ask cloth; the immense fireplace suggested 



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248 Etnntfititt Sitetcl^nt 

good cheer; the world, his world, was full of 
light, and comfort, and happiness. 

'•Roger!'* 

He looked up instantly for something in her 
manner disturbed him. 

"What is it, Charlotte?" 

*'The paper," she stammered, **you have 
not read it. There is — " 

He broke in impatiently. *'Is the Chronicle 
abusing me? I thought Gilroy was my friend. 
Let me see." He fitted on his glasses and 
extended his hand. "You are too thin skinned 
for a politician's wife, my dear," smiling in 
the consciousness of his strength. 

**It is not that. Mr. Gilroy compliments 
you handsomely, and declares that you are the 
man to be at the head of the commonwealth 
in these troublous times, but, O, Roger, there 
has been a murder. William Bridges of Happy 
Valley is dead." 

He turned pale. * * Monteith's friend ! Who 
killed him?" 

**A man of our name." 

His fine eyes flashed. "The insinuation is 
beneath you, madam," he said, sternly, "the 
name is not our exclusive property. There is 
a family in Dayton County, good people, too, 
but no connection of ours." He went into 
the hall, but returned almost immediately. 



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yiacig of yptoer 2^ 

**Your fear is groundless," he threw back his 
head proudly. **What has my son to do with 
this murderer and blackguard!" 

**I made no charge," she replied, softly, **I 
trust I am unduly nervous this morning." 

When Bretherton reached the capitol, he 
saw excitement on every face. The corridors 
and galleries of the building were crowded, for 
statesmen and politicians from every part of 
the commonwealth were present, feeling that 
never before in the history of the country 
had the occasion demanded more calmness, 
judgment, and forethought than now. A bill 
calling a general election to settle the question 
of secession was to be introduced in the legis- 
lature. Speeches were to be made glorifying 
the government and the flag, and counter 
orations would be delivered defending state 
sovereignty, and the right of separation. This 
universal expectancy that affected lawgiver 
and private citizen left no time for even the 
mention of a murder committed in a back alley 
the night before. The governor sat in his 
private office from the window of which he 
could see over the tops of houses, across the 
town, the bell tower of the county jail. A 
slight cough attracted his attention, and turn- 
ing around he found £ph standing respect- 
fully at the back of his chain 



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250 EtnntnBH i6ttet(t^ 

**I nuver 'spected none o* Miss Marthy's 
chilern ter come ter dis, marster, ner youm 
nuther,*' £ph said, mournfully. He was a 
part of the inheritance from Monteith's 
mother, and considered himself the property 
of her son. 

The governor jumped to his feet, and tow- 
ered, livid with rage, above the bent form. 

**What you have heard is a lie!" he cried, 
*'mind, I say it is a lie!" At that moment he 
caught the old man's eye, and his face soft- 
ened. '*My son had nothing to do with this 
infernal business." 

**Yas, sur, he did, boss," was the answer, 
respectfully but quickly enough spoken not to 
be interrupted, *'I seed 'im myse'f jes now 
whin ther sherufif caired 'im back ter jail. I 
seed 'im gwine an' comin', an' he seed me, 
an' his face tu'n white ez er ghos'. Marse 
Monteith sut'ny do look turrible." 

There was silence. Gusts of wind shook 
the window frames, forced open the transoms, 
and whistled about the building, and pillars of 
dust were moving as storm centers down 
the street. 

**Wha' yo' gwine ter do fer 'im, Marse 
Roger?" 

* * Nothing. ' ' Brcthcrton, who had resumed his 
seat, covered his face with his hands as he spokc; 



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Vlaci0 of Votoer 251 

**Fo* God, yo* ain' gwine ter dissart 'im?*' 
Old Eph's voice and face expressed the terror 
he felt. **For marcy sake, marster, git Marse 
M'nteith out o' ther grip o* ther law, 'ca'se 
blood do run thicker'n water." 

**Are any of your people black sheep, 
Bretherton?" 

Governor Maxwell stood in the doorway, 
but seeing Eph's evident distress, made a sign 
as though he would leave. 

**Come in, governor," Bretherton called, 
**this is only Eph, who longs for the tranquil- 
lity of Happy Valley. Come right in." 

*'I called," Maxwell said, finding a chair 
and lighting a cigar, **to learn why you got 
your name mixed up in a fight last night." 

Roger Bretherton's scholarly hand lay white 
and still upon the desk before him. **I saw 
the account and wondered if some scoundrel 
was not masquerading as one of my rela- 
tions." 

**If so you are paying the penalty of great- 
ness," Maxwell replied, still taking a humor- 
ous view of the situation. 

Bretherton did not reply, but he sat erect; 
his features were firm, every faculty being 
alert, he seemed master of the situation. But 
something in the atmosphere disturbed Max- 
well. He threw away his cigar, and taking up 



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252 Cfnne00fe Sbittt^tB 

the morning paper reread the account of the 
murder. 

"This man must be defended," the gover- 
nor said, impressively, when he saw that his 
friend had finished the newspaper report, **ably 
defended, and I want you to take charge of 
the case. Engage other counsel," he went 
on, excitedly, **the best in the state, and for 
God's sake, leave no stone unturned to save 
the accused." 

The English mastiff that had been lying an 
inert mass at the farther end of the room, 
alarmed at the strained sound of his master's 
voice, lifted his head, then came and rubbed 
his nose affectionately against Bretherton's 
arm. 

'*You understand. Maxwell, this is a life 
and death struggle with me." 

The great clock in the corner ticked loudly 
enough for a drum-beat, the visitor kicked at 
the fire, knocking over an andiron that fell 
with a crashing sound. He was too much 
stunned to offer encouragement. 

**We will make as strong a fight as possible 
for the young man's life," he said, shaking 
Bretherton's hand violently. Then he passed 
slowly down the corridor and out of the build- 
ing. 



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¥lacf0 of ¥oton 253 

With the coming of the spring the political 
excitement increased. Fort Sumter had been 
fired on and the sound reverberated through 
the land. Governor Bretherton saw the com- 
monwealth of which he was the executive 
heady and which had voted fifty thousand 
majority to remain in the Union, wavering in 
the balance with the chances in favor of de- 
claring for * * separation. ' ' Mass meetings were 
held over the state, and orators, the most elo- 
quent and the most impassioned that could be 
found, explained to the people their construc- 
tion of the Constitution. Sectional animosity 
was aroused. Northern valor impugned, and 
separation without bloodshed assured. Dur- 
ing so much general interest, it would seem 
that the trial of a presumably obscure boy 
would pass almost unnoted, but such was not 
the case. The lawyers of the prosecution 
were unusually active and watchful; it was 
plain that they would, if possible, pursue the 
young man to his death. 

It was Sunday morning, and Roger Brether- 
ton and his wife stood on the front veranda of 
the governor's mansion awaiting their car- 
riage. The day was very fine, life and hope 
were in the atmosphere. 

**Be of good cheer," Mrs. Bretherton said, 
glancing up into her husband's grave face. 



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254 €tnntMtt Sbittt^tB 

**It does not seem on such a morning as this 
that any care will come to us." 

**I shall be troubled, of course," he replied, 
making an effort to smile, **until this trial of 
Monteith is over." 

As he spoke they stood aside to permit their 
daughter and Edward Morgan to pass out. 

**We are going to walk to church," Bessie 
said, touching her father's arm gently with 
her fan, **in order to linger in the sunshine." 

They made a handsome pair as they went 
down the gravel walk into the capitol grounds, 
and on through the great gates to the avenue, 
but Bretherton's eyes followed them with dis- 
favor. 

**Does Bessie know he is one of the law- 
yers who is prosecuting her brother?" he 
asked. 

Mrs. Bretherton hesitated. **Y — e — s, and 
she thinks, indeed we both think, that it is 
fortunate for Monteith that Edward is the 
attorney-general. ' ' 

Bretherton had been in his rooms at the 
capitol since the early morning, tramping back 
and forth as prisoners do in their cells. He 
could not remain at home, for every word that 
was spoken there, no matter how gently, and 
every question that was asked jarred on his 
overwrought sensibilities. So long had he 



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placed of Votoer 255 

been walking that his secretary in the adjoin- 
ing office had become nervous from listening 
to the monotonous tread. This young man 
had passed a trying day, refusing those who 
sought to see his chief, and parrying presum- 
ing questions. So when Eph appeared in the 
office, he said, impatiently: 

**He will not see you. Uncle Eph, no matter 
if his horse. Telegraph, is dying." 

The old man closed the outer door, thien 
said, loudly enough to be heard in the private 
office: **Ise jes come back f'om ther trile, an* 
Marse Roger* 11 shorely warn ter see me. *' 

The words did their work. Governor 
Bretherton called Eph into his presence. 

At that moment slave and master were on a 
common ground for their strongest interest 
was the same. 

**I heeard hit all, marster," Eph said, ex- 
citedly, **an' I seed ther jury, an* ther jedge, 
an' Marse M'nteith lookin' weak an* miser*ble 
lak Miss Marthy look b*fo* she died.** Breth- 
erton winced, **An whin he git off ther stan* 
Marse Gubner Max*ell riz ter he feet an* low, 
dat ther *cused hed answer'd ther questions 
raght an' proper lak ther gen'man whut he 
wus boun' ter be, an* dat he nuver tole no lie 
ter sabe he life.*' 

Eph was more cheerful than he had been 



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256 Cntne00ff Sbittt^ta 

since the murder. He felt confident that his 
young master would be acquitted. **Fer all 
dat speechifyin* ain' gwine ter be fer nothin',*' 
he was sure. 

**How far has the trial progressed?" the 
governor asked. Eph might be satisfied, but 
he wanted facts not opinions. Besides, Max- 
well had assured him that the case would be 
concluded that day. 

**Ther jury's done gone out ter 'cide, raght 
now, an' I come erway ter fetch yo' ther wud. 
I s'pose Marse M'nteith's free by now." 

"How about the speeches?" 

Eph was nonplussed at the thought of re- 
peating the great men's words, but he re- 
covered himself and said with energy: ** Marse 
Gubner Max'ell speak lak er capt'in, marster, 
he d'clar' dat ther youn' man hed got inter 
low down cotnp'ny, an' I sez ter Giles Mart'n 
whar wus wi' me, 'ca'se he Marse George gi' 
'im er pars, *Fo' God dat wud is true.' He 
tole how Marse M'nteith git mad, he low he 
wus plum crazy whin ther fit strack 'im, an dat 
dat wus ther matter wi' 'im whin he put out 
ther life o' Willum Bridges." 

Governor Bretherton broke in upon him 
impatiently : **This is the usual defense. Were 
there no pleas for mercy?" 

**Yas, sur, boss, he ta'k erbout marcy con- 



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¥lacf0 of ¥otoer 257 

stant, an' jes b*fo' he sot down he beg ther 
jury by religion an' ev*y thin' he could call ter 
he min' ter spar' ther youn' man's life; den he 
took he seat an' kivered he face wi' he ban's. 
Some o* ther men en ther box wus er cryin', 
an' ole Eph cry too, an* Giles Martin say he 
pray 'rs. ' ' He attempted to take his bandanna 
handkerchief from his pocket, but his hand 
trembled so violently that he made more than 
one effort before he succeeded. 

Unnoticed by the occupants of the room a 
storm was sweeping across the town, sending 
the water coursing in rivulets down the window 
panes, bending and swaying the trees, and cov- 
ering the ground with dead and broken limbs. 

**I doan lak ther 'torney-giner'l, boss, no 
mor'n ef he do come er visitin* Miss Bessie. 
He hez sot he face erg'inst us f'om ther fust, 
he 'spute wi' Marse Max* ell constant, an' 
whin Marse Simmons laugh et 'im ter ther 
jury, he riz up an' shout till yo' could er 
heeard *im clean up heah. *Will ther gemman 
keep quiet,' he holler, *may hit please ther 
cou't he's done more'n enough try in' ter 
cheat ther law o' justice on ther son o' ther 
Gubner. Den ev'ry body dyah tu'n an' look 
et one unurrer. ' ' 

**Why? I have never denied that Monteith 
is my son!" 



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258 ^tnntMtt Sftrtcfteg 

**Dat's so, marster, but yo* ain' tole n'body, 
hez yo*? an' dem Bridgeses nuver say nothin* 
*bout hit dey se'ves, dey *cla'r idey got nothin* 
'g'inst yo*." 

A tremendous crash of thunder accompa- 
nied by brilliant, blinding lightning put a stop 
to the conversation. Eph bounded a foot in 
the air, and the secretary rushed into the 
room. 

**The building has been struck," Graham 
exclaimed. 

The governor seemed absolutely uncon- 
cerned. **I think not," he said, **it is only a 
tree out there on the grounds,'* pointing to a 
beautiful ash that had been split in twain by 
the bolt from the sky. Involuntarily he com- 
pared the shivered wreck with his own life — ^the 
tree had been strong, vigorous, happy in liv- 
ing, and a sudden blow had felled it to the 
earth, so had it been with him. 

The storm was over, the clouds had rolled 
away to the north and on to the east, still no 
one had come with tidings of the verdict, and 
Uncle Eph*s optimistic prattle went on un- 
heard by his master. At last a messenger ar- 
rived bringing a penciled line from Governor 
Maxwell: **The verdict is murder in the first 
degree." 



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¥lacf0 of ¥oton 259 

The governor left his carriage at the door 
of the county jail, and went inside. 

**I have come to see Monteith Bretherton, ' * 
he said, pronouncing the name with perfect 
distinctness. 

** Certainly, governor," and the officer led 
the way to the cell of the condemned. 

At sight of his father, Monteith fled to the 
farthest corner of the cramped cage and 
crouched behind a chair. 

"Monteith!" the voice was elevated as 
though speaking to one at a distance. 

Bretherton's swift glance took in the sur- 
roundings, the narrow bed, the rude chair, and 
the one miserable evidence of life hiding from 
him. 

••I am here." 

**Come nearer," going to Monteith, **and 
stand up, my boy." The words of courage 
brought a less hunted expression into the 
young man's face. **Are you not my only 
son, my first born!" 

Monteith was much lower of stature than 
his father, and more delicately made; his 
hands were small and as slender as a girl's, and 
from long confinement his skin was pale. 
When he threw back his head, Roger Brether- 
ton started, for the eyes that sought his own 
were those of the woman whom in his youth 



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26o Cenneisisef Sbitttl^t^ 

he had loved, and they seemed to convey a 
reproach from the gentle one who had bloomed 
in his life as the early spring flowers, passing 
away as soon. 

**I thought you wouldn't own me, you 
oughtn't to own me, father." The words 
burst forth of their own will. **I could have 
died by myself, I didn't want to disgrace you, 
mother, and Bessie!" 

**I will not consider them nor myself at 
present, my son. Tell me all about this ter- 
rible affair." 

He stopped, for Monteith had drawn him- 
self together, hugging his arms closely, and he 
was trembling from head to foot. **I can't 
go over it again," he said, **I have heard it so 
often in the court room. I dream of it so 
regularly at night that I'll be glad when the 
time comes to hang. I murdered him, father, ' ' 
brokenly, **I stuck my knife in him, his blood 
was on my hands," he held them out each 
finger standing apart. 

'*Yes, yes," the words were spoken gently, 
**but calm yourself, my son, you know our 
people never lack for courage, for endurance. 
What provocation had you?" 

**He lied to me, and stole from me, father. 
I backed the race horse Eclipse, and won. 
We were partners and I gave him the cash 



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¥lacf0 of Vob3et 261 

to keep. I thought I'd pay my debts and 
go to the army if we have a war, and Bridges 
got all the money away from me. He swore 
he had lost a part of it at cards, and Liz Baker 
made way with the rest, but he lied, for most 
of it was in his belt after he was dead. I 
could have got it and run ofif, but I wouldn't 
touch the infernal bills because they were wet 
with his blood." He rested his head against 
the wall, but instantly raised it and continued 
with sudden energy. ** Don't worry about me, 
father, for I ain't worth it, and I'm glad to die. 
I won't find a worse place than this world." 

A strong hand pressed his shoulder. **I am 
the chief magistrate of the state and can par- 
don you." 

**Don't doit." He dropped on his knees 
beside his father. **What is the use of ruin- 
ing yourself for me ! Just go out of town that 
day, and when you return all will be over. I 
don't want to go through the world with blood 
on my hands." 

♦ ♦ ♦ « « 

All the way back to the capitol, Monteith's 
face haunted his father; he had expected bra- 
vado, and defiance, not this abject, hopeless 
misery. At the outset of the trial, an acquittal 
seemed only a question of time, and with 
something like Spartan courage, he stood 



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262 ^tnntn^tt Sbttt^ta 

back, and saw his son meet the requirements 
of the law. But when the case lost below 
went to the Supreme Court, Was remanded for 
a rehearing and was returned to the higher 
tribunal with the same verdict, which was 
then afiSrmed, the situation became desperate. 
There remained but one act between the 
accused and the gallows. 

**The young man is my son, and I do par- 
don him," he said aloud. The allurement of 
place and power passed from him, and the 
links of memory tightened — he was back in his 
early manhood, the boy's mother was beside 
him with the little Monteith in her arms. 
**What a beautiful child he is!" she said. 
(How faithfully does the mind carry an intona- 
tion.) **His curls are bright gold, and he has 
a. stately little air about him." Bretherton 
groaned. The stately air and the yellow hair 
the beautiful woman kissed had come to this. 

He went to the window and drummed against 
the pane. **A man's duty is to his family," 
he winced, for there were his wife and daugh- 
ter, **a man's duty is to the state, a man's 
loyalty and honor, and obligation are to his 
oath." He turned impulsively, and taking 
his hat, went through a side entrance from the 
building. 



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¥lace0 of Voton 263 

**I have seen Monteith," Governor Brether- 
ton sighed and leaned back against the cush- 
ions of the chair that Bessie had pushed 
forward for him, **and, my daughter, such 
forlornness, such misery, I never saw/' 

Though not replying she stood a sympa- 
thetic listener beside him. 

**I have been thinking of the pardon,*' he 
said, and a flush overspread his face. 

**I should pardon Monteith, father, this very 
day." Bessie spoke earnestly; and with a 
glow of pleasure her father realized that the 
proud Bretherton eyes were flashing into his 
own. **Has a petition been sent you?" 

**No," bitterly, **one was circulated, but 
the judge and attorney-general declined to 
sign it. This Morgan, who would marry my 
daughter refused. " He clinched his fists until 
they were as hard as iron. 

**I have given him up," her voice was low 
but firm, **he is brilliant, attractive, and I 
suppose — but for this I might — " she stopped, 
then began again. **He is too ambitious, too 
jealous for his honor as the servant of the 
state. Besides, he said you could if you would 
stand between your son and harm." 

Governor Bretherton regarded her tenderly, 
realizing as never before the disaster that 
passive relationship may bring. 



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264 Cntne00ff Sbittt^ts^ 

**I have exhausted my resources on the 
trial," he said, **and the pardon necessitates 
my resignation." 

* * Resignation ! O no, father ! ' ' 

*'I would not hold the office after doing vio- 
lence to my oath," he said, proudly, **and, my 
child, so great a storm of indignation will 
sweep through the state that we will be glad 
to hide from it at Happy Valley. I feel now 
that it would be pleasant to lie down beside 
my ancestors on the hill. This bubble of 
office has proved to be anything but good to 
us, Bessie." 

He rose to his feet to shake hands with 
Governor Maxwell, who was being ushered 
into the room. 

*'I have come from a conference with the 
politicians," the visitor said, after greeting 
Bessie and paying her a compliment. **They 
declare that the state must secede, that it 
must join with the Southern Confederacy. 
But it seems to me that we are driving the old 
ship into troublous waters," and he shook his 
head thoughtfully. **I believe, however, the 
vote will be for 'separation.' " 

** Since the bombardment of Fort Sumter, 
that has been a foregone conclusion." 

**Yes," Maxwell replied, *' those first guns 
were electrical in their effect, sending a thrill 



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^laefg of ^oton 265 

through the country. They presage that blood 
is to be sprinkled in the faces of the people, 
as Yancey says it should be. You must be on 
your mettle, my friend," slapping Bretherton 
on the knee, **we are in a history-making 
epoch." 

No one was more stirred by the questions 
of the hour than was the governor of the com- 
monwealth. He appreciated the power that 
would be vested in the executive of a sovereign 
state in case of separation ; he knew it was a 
time when men of brain, courage, and nerve 
should hold the reins of government, and he 
felt equal to the occasion, and realized that a 
brilliant political or possibly military future 
was within his grasp. But now, he must put 
ambition, patriotism, and even duty aside. 
« ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

The governor reached his office at an early 
hour on the morning set for the execution. 
In the jail the scaffold had been erected, and 
the rope lay on the fatal drop, one end falling 
to the brick paved court beneath. No new 
developments in the case had been brought to 
light, and the law was about to be satisfied. 

Bretherton called his secretary. * * Graham, * ' 
he said, placing in the man's hand an official- 
looking document, **take this to the warden of 
the county jail, and when you return present 



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266 Cfnnnsjsee Sbittt^t^ 

this paper," giving him another envelope, **to 
the secretary of state." Then the governor 
sat down pale as death and waited. 

Seconds, minutes, an hour passed. All at 
once there came hurried steps along the corri- 
dor, the door was fiung open, and a young 
man followed by Uncle Eph rushed into the 
room. 

*'0 father, I wasn't worthy," he cried, **! 
wasn't worthy." 

Bretherton put his arms about his son. 
**You will be worthy, Monteith," he said, **we 
will make you so." 

The young man clutched his collar as 
though he were strangling. ** Father," he 
whisperied, hoarsely, **I'll try." He leaned 
against a chair and looked about him in a 
dazed, groping way. "There's something 
wrong with my head, you seem to be getting 
away from me," he staggered, **and you don*t 
look as you did that day in the cell. Father!'* 

Despite old Eph's support, Monteith was 
slipping to the floor. At that moment the sun 
came from behind a cloud and threw a broad 
band of light upon the carpet, making the red 
coloring of which a brilliant scarlet. 

The governor bent over the prostrate figure. 

**I am here with you, my son." 

** Father, " still clutching at the ever tighten- 



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^Iut0 of ^o\Bn 267 

ing collar, **lift me up!" There was an 
affrighted tone in Monteith's voice. **I*m 
going, don't you see!** 

Silently the secretary of state entered the 
room. 

**It is so long since your arms were about 
me,** he tossed back his head and looked up 
into his father's face, **and your life is white 
and clean, not red as mine,'* he shivered and 
drew closer within the governor's embrace. 

A doctor came in and knelt beside the young 
man, and old Eph began to pray. 

**Hab marcy, hab marcy, O Lord.** The 
trembling voice became inaudible though the 
lips moved, then it rose louder. **Teck he 
feet out o* ther miry clay, an* sot *em on a 
rock. Caire *im home ter glory, O Lord, fer 
Jesus sake." 

Monteith's eyes closed, but in a moment he 
started violently, "Father!** he cried, 
•^Father!*' 

Roger Bretherton's lips were stiff as he 
placed them to the fast failing ears, **Tell 
your mother," he whispered, **that I tried 
with you, but I did not know the way — and the 
world's claim held me — ask her to forgive." 

**I shall tell her that you were good — 
go— od," the words came slowly, the voice 
was weary. 



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368 Crennf00ee Sbittt^t^ 

In the room everything grew still. Two 
birds building their nest in the stonework 
above the window looked in, chirped softly to 
each other, and flew away; the sun crept 
across the floor; the town clock tolled the 
fatal hour. 

Governor Bretherton rose to his feet, "Into 
the hands of God, not man," he muttered. 

The men about him stood with bowed heads. 

**Take back your resignation, governor,** 
the secretary of state said. 

Roger Bretherton regarded him calmly. 

•*No, I held the tie of blood greater than 
my oath of office." 

**But Monteith has paid the penalty, the 
law has been satisfied." 



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GRAY FARM FOLK 



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GRAY FARM FOLK 



SAM 

Sam Gray leaned forward in his seat, flashed 
the whip above his head, then brought it down 
upon the back of the horse he drove. The 
animal broke into a run ; he was old and thin, 
and Sam claimed to be the only one who could 
make him show his mettle. 

**Yes, whip John up, Sam," his sister Lucy 
said, approvingly, **we must get home; see 
how fast the storm is coming.** 

**I*m never sure of a rain,*' he replied, 
sagely, **till it*s in my face.'* 

They dashed furiously along the bad coun- 
try road, Sam's voice and whip making their 
best argument for speed. 

It was in western Tennessee where there is 
little native rock, and gullies had formed in 
most unfortunate places in the road. Driv- 
ing, under the circumstances, required skill 
and caution, but Sam possessed neither; he 
passed as nonchalantly along the uncertain 
371 



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272 Cennei80ee Sb^tttt^tB 

way as though it were a fine shell drive, and 
rushed over rickety bridges without slackening 
the horse's pace, to the great dismay of the 
two girls on the back seat of the rockaway. 

**You all ought to have something around 
you," he exclaimed, as the first splash of rain 
fell in their faces. ** Here's my coat," he 
threw it off in an instant, **it will do one of 
you a little good." 

**We will not take it, Sam," they both cried, 
**you need it more than we do, the top pro- 
tects us some, you see." 

**Well, I'll not put it on again, anyhow," 
firmly, **so take care of it for me. Jean, you 
put it on," glancing back at the young girl 
beside his sister. **Your dress is thinner than 
Lucy's, and you're on the rainy side, too. 
And, Lucy, here's my hat; now that's all I 
can do for either of you. G'long John. " 

The rain had begun in earnest. They were 
hurrying toward it, and Sam's face, head, and 
unprotected breast and shoulders were pelted 
as though with hailstones. Their road led 
through the woods, and the boy's shouts of 
delight as he stood up in the vehicle and 
stamped his feet, might well have frightened 
man or beast; rivulets ran down the bodies of 
the trees, and the great rain drops brought 
the brittle leaves in crimson and brown show- 



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<Krai? jTarm jToltt 273 

ers to the ground. Sam experienced a sudden 
revulsion of feeling. 

** Just because we tried to see a little pleas- 
ure it stormed — Whoa!" The horse, fright- 
ened by a quick flash of lightning, jumped to 
one side of the road. **Whoa, John!" tight- 
ening the rein and keeping the wheel out of 
the gully. ** We've not been to town in a 
coon's age," continuing the subject where he 
left off, **and it just rained on purpose." 

**If we had started home when father told 
us, we would have missed it," Lucy said, un- 
pleasantly. 

**No, it would have come up anyhow, and I 
don't believe in measuring pleasure by the 
clock. Jean, if one of us died from this rain, 
Lucy would say it was a judgment; but I don't 
believe it," giving his whip a flourish. **I 
think the Lord is too high-minded for that." 

**What excuse can we give?" Lucy insisted* 

They were nearing home, the white posts of 
the big gate were in sight, and the cedars on 
the lawn banked back a somber, depressing 
background. 

**I'm going to speak right up to father," 
Sam declared. He sat erect, throwing back 
his head ; there was something that suggested 
the soldier in the way he held himself. **I'm 
going to tell him," the words coming rapidly, 



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^74 €tnntifin Sfertcj&w 

**that I'm no judge of the weather, and we 
didn't carry a barometer, and we didn't see 
the clouds, land when we did, John just laid to 
and brought us home quick. I'm going to tell 
him what a good horse he's got," John was 
growing very lame, **and then I'll put the 
newspaper in his hand and leave." 

**Your valor will leave long before you say 
all that," Lucy interjected. 

** You'll see," Sam replied. **I'm not afraid 
of father, there's nothing bad about him; he's 
all right." 

*'He's pacing up and down the front porch 
now, expecting us every minute." 

**I'm sure mother and Aunt Margaret are 
not enjoying themselves." Sam laughed 
aloud at the prospect. **I know he's told 'em 
twenty times in the last half hour of the dis- 
obedience of children — and of a ward, too, 
Jean." 

Jean Prentiss smiled, and drew his coat 
more closely about her shoulders. 

*'Well, his trouble is over for the present," 
she said, "for here we are." 

Sam jumped out, and opened the big gate, 
then they swept, as rapidly as possible with 
John's failing strength, round the circular 
drive to the front door. 

Mr. Gray went down the steps with an um- 



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gfrtag jFatm jFoltt 275 

brella. **No use for that, father,*' Sam cried, 
**We*re as wet as drowned rats now.** 

And putting the old gentleman aside, he 
assisted the girls out as leisurely as though it 
were an afternoon of sunshine and ceremony. 

**Walk in, ladies, and have seats,*' standing 
back for them to enter the front door before 
him, **one feels exhilarated after a brisk 
drive!" 

He gathered up the few packages left in the 
rockaway and ran into the house, eager to 
recount the adventure to his mother. 

**Here we are," he said, talking at the top 
of his voice, **I brought them back safe, 
sound, and of reasonable mind. I tell you we 
had all sorts of a time coming out, mother." 

Mr. Gray came into the room, and stood by 
the mantelpiece looking sternly into the fire ; 
he seemed older and whiter than ever before, 
and Sam's conscience smote him instantly. 

**The governor is mad, he's mighty mad," 
he thought. 

The boy stopped talking, suddenly he found 
he had nothing to say. 

Mr. Gray to all appearance was unconscious 
of his son's presence. He fished a coal from 
the fire and lighted his long-stemmed clay pipe 
with it ; his unsteady hand dropped the coal 
once or twice and Sam wanted to pick it up 



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276 Cntne00ee Sb^ttc^tsi 

for him, but concluded he might better not. 
The great clock in the corner ticked away in 
monotonous music. The culprit could no 
longer endure the suspense. 

**I tell you, father, you oughtn't to get mad 
about it," his slight form in the dripping 
clothes appeared smaller than usual, contrasted 
with the tall, spare figure of Mr. Gray. **It 
would have been all right if it hadn't rained, 
and we didn't kimw it was going to rain." 

Mr. Gray did not seem interested in the 
explanation ; he took the pipe from his mouth, 
trimmed the stem, and began smoking again. 
**I think this tobacco is damp," he remarked, 
casually, to his wife. 

**It won't make us sick," undaunted by the 
rebuflF, **a little shower ain't nothing, and there 
wasn't any soldiers about. Oh!" Sam almost 
leaped in the air; until that moment he had 
forgotten the surest way to his father's favor. 

**Here's a paper, father," taking his coat 
from a chair and pulling a mass that was 
almost pulp from the pocket of it. **The 
Memphis Avalanche!" 

Mr. Gray looked up involuntarily, he had 
not seen a newspaper for a month. 

*'0f what date?" he demanded. 

** October the fifteenth, 1863," Sam replied, 
reading it from the paper. *'There's been a 



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©rag iFarm JFolk 277 

big fight," glancing at the head-lines, *'I 
don't know which whipped, though the other 
side claims the victory. Father, I wish I'd 
been in that battle." 

Mr. Gray spread the paper out before the 
fire, too much interested in the news to hear 
what his son was saying. 

**I'll get off these wet things," Sam said, 
moving with alacrity toward the door, and 
beginning to whistle, but remembering that his 
father did not like whistling he stopped off 
short. **And then I'll go and see about John. 
I wouldn't be surprised if that horse was done 
for," he added to hiniself. 

On his way to the barn the sun came from 
behind the clouds, making the grass on the 
lawn a tender green, and finding many colored 
lights in the rain-drops on the trees. He saw 
the peacock under an oak perfectly dry, ruf- 
fling his feathers, getting ready to strut; and 
he fancied the bees in the hives had an idea of 
buzzing out again. **We got it all," he said, 
with a queer grin, **the rain began after we 
started home, and quit as soon as we got 
here." He looked back at the house in the 
hope of seeing Jean. 

It was an old-fashioned Southern structure, 
neither large nor pretentious, and bore evi- 
dence of having been added to as the means 



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278 KtnntBun Sbiitt^t^ 

and family of the owner increased. But the 
broad verandas covered with honeysuckle, and 
the pretty dormer windows peeping from the 
roof, suggested hospitality, welcome, good 
cheer. Sam gave Colley, the stable boy, ex- 
plicit instructions concerning John, then 
hurried over to the smoke-house to ask Uncle 
Zach about his game chickens. 

**Did that dusty miller fight my red to- 
day?" he asked. 

**He shore did, youn* marster. I tried t*r 
keep *em parted, but jes 'fo' dinner I heeard 
er scufflin' t'other side o* th* ash hopper, an* 
I looked *roun' th* corner, an* they wus fightin* 
till I thou*t dey* 'Id kill one urrer shore. I 
cotch yo* red, an* Colley, he grab de dusty, an* 
dee crow in our arms constant. Dar ain' n* 
finer chicken dan ourn, Marse Sam, dey*s de 
blue blood shore.'* 

** Supper, youn* marster," Aunt Judy called 
from the kitchen door, **an* dyah*s some nice 
cracklin* bread baked jes f'r yo*!" 

**Your paper brings bad news," Mr. Gray 
said, solemnly, as Sam entered the room. His 
wife, his sister, Mrs. Marston, Lucy, and Jean, 
were seated at the table, but he chose to dis- 
cuss the situation with a masculine mind. 

Sam helped himself to Aunt Judy's bread, 
and replied with as much gravity as he thought 



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©rag dFarm jFolIt 279 

the subject merited: **I saw nothing to com- 
plain of. I don't believe half the papers tell 
us these days any way.'* 

Mr. Gray's brow clouded; this son was no 
comfort as an adviser. 

**A very shrewd young man, to be sure," he 
said, sarcastically. ** Possibly, this is your 
rule for all reading, hence the gratifying 
results we have." His knife fell, making a 
ringing sound against his plate, and overturn- 
ing the salt cellar. 

Sam, smiled unmirthf ully, but did not reply. 
His father's remark was a home thrust, for 
books were the least interesting things to him 
in a very interesting world. All his informa- 
tion — and he was far from being ignorant — 
was from observation ; his eyes and ears and 
heart were open to everything that was going 
on about him. He talked with Uncle Zack 
about the game chickens and weather signs; 
consulted with Colley as to the best swimming 
holes and fishing places; discussed the war 
with his father, and teased and played jokes 
oh Aunt Margaret and the girls continually; 
he had never felt the necessity for books. He 
was a little ashamed of this, for the family 
was scholarly. Mr. Gray, himself a student, 
had endeavored to impress his children with 
the importance of study. 



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28o Cenne00ee S^tttt^tn 

They ate awhile in silence, the log fire pop- 
ping an accompaniment to the movement of 
knives and forks. 

**I think the indications are," the old 
gentleman took up the subject again because 
his heart was so full of it, **that the movement 
of the Northern troops will be in this direc- 
tion ; indeed, from this time forward we may 
expect raiding and foraging parties at any 
time.** He bowed his head over his plate 
seemingly lost in thought. **We have escaped 
wonderfully thus far, considering the fact that 
we live within thirty miles of Memphis, and 
three of the village. The Lord has had us in 
his keeping.*' 

**If you have the same luck Aunt Margaret 
and I did, you'll do well,** Sam exclaimed, 
anxious for a more cheerful conversation. 
**We said we were going to dazzle them with 
our beauty, and awe them with our dignity, 
didn't we, auntie? Well, it wouldn*t work, for 
they burned us out, but it wasn't our fault.** 

**Samuel," Mr. Gray spoke in a stern voice, 
**we will have no more of this flippancy; it is 
very distasteful to me." 

"All right, all right," pleasantly; **you 
don't see the funny part of the war, do you? 
I tell you, father,** turning resolutely upon 
him^ his fine eyes full of determination, "I must 



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ffirae iFarm jFoIlt 281 

go into the army, I'd better be there now than 
troubling you and the women folks here at 
home. I'm no scholar, never shall be; some- 
how, I didn't catch your mantle — ^that's mixed, 
but it's Bible, so I suppose it will do — ^but if 
there's any one that can beat me with a rifle, 
I'd just like to see him, and I'll give it up. 
And with a shotgun, too, I'm bully,'' 

•*My son!" 

**I mean," catching his breath, "I mean 
I'm mighty good, and you'll not be ashamed 
of me, like you were at school, if I go to the 
war, I promise you." 

Mr. Gray looked at Sam, and there came a 
mist before his eyes ; the lad stood less in awe 
of him than did his other children, and he 
loved him best for it. Besides Sam looked so 
young pleading to go to the war, offering up 
his life for a cause about which he knew noth- 
ing, or nearly nothing. The youngest of a 
large family never seems really grown to the 
rest; it was only the other day that Sam was a 
baby, and now he was claiming his right to 
be a soldier. 

'*I know you are not afraid, Sam, none of 
the Grays are, but I cannot consent to your 
going into this fight — three sons are enough to 
enlist in any cause. However," as the boy 
turned away discouraged, **if the war contin- 



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282 ^tnntMtt Sbkttti^t^ 

ues another year, and the country then needs 
you — ** he hesitated, **we will talk about it 
then, my son, and I may change my mind." 

Sullenly Sam took the lamp, and stalked 
ahead of his father into the sitting-room. Oil 
and candles were too scarce in the Confeder- 
acy to use any lights but those absolutely 
necessary. 

*'It's all very well for the governor to talk 
that way, * ' he said in grumbling tones to Jean, 
**but a man's got his own duty to look after." 

**A man!'* Jean exclaimed, laughing, **bow 
about a boy?" 

**I wasn't talking about a boy," he declared, 
stoutly; *'I tell you, Jean," growing confi- 
dential, "Dick Lowry writes me they have 
great times in the army, sleeping in tents, and 
sitting around the campfire, and telling jokes, 
and having good hard fights. I wish I was 
there." 

He looked thoughtful for a few moments, 
then with a smile on his lips, said: "Maybe 
I'd get killed, and then you would have to 
say," imitating Jean's voice, ** *It's a pity 
about Sam; he was a fine young man!' " He 
started up, "No, by gracious, you'd say boy 
even if I was dead!" 

The girl's bright eyes were full of amuse- 
ment. 



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©fras jFatm jFoIlt 283 

**I'll make it a point to say man, that is if 
you are dead, Sam. But,** becoming solemn, 
**do not talk that way, please; I feel terribly 
blue to-night.** 

She drew a light nubia about her (it had 
grown chill since the rain) and moved her 
chair forward. The uncertain flicker of the 
makeshift lamp cast alternate light and shadow 
on her exquisitely cut features. Jean was evi- 
dently nervous ; her red-brown eyes wandered 
from object to object in the room, and her 
waving auburn hair seemed instinct with life. 
The fire smouldered and sputtered; gusts Of 
wind swept around the house, bringing the 
nuts from the trees in pelting showers upon 
the tin roof of the porch, and Mr. Gray's 
monotonous, repressed tread as he moved from 
room to room, barricading doors and windows, 
seemed to express the general disquiet of the 
household. 

"The dogs are barking terribly,** Jean ex- 
claimed, giving a little shiver. *'Do you not 
hear them?*' 

They raised their heads to listen. The 
deep, fierce bark of the watch dogs stopped 
suddenly (some one spoke to them) and then 
there came the scurrying of their many feet 
up the front steps, together with friendly barks 
and whines. 



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2^4 KtWUMtt £tftc|cs 

**I can distingaish voices," Jean said, strain- 
ing her ears to catch the faintest sonnd. 

"Yes, somebody is out there," Sam ex- 
claimed, excitedly, jumping to his feet. 

He rushed to the front door, raised the 
heavy iron bar that held it, and peered out 
into the darkness. 

"HeUo!" he cried, "Who is there?" then 
he hurried onto the porch, shouting, **How 
d'ye! Glad to see you! Walk in! Walk in!" 

He dashed back into the sitting-room. 

"Father, "he said, "Colonel Hunter! Major 
Slaughter," motioning to his Aunt Margraret. 
"Lieutenant Claire and Brother James are in 
yonder." 

James Gray followed close behind Sam. He 
looked fatigued, careworn ; he had been in the 
saddle since the early morning, and his faded 
gray uniform was stained with mud. 

"We have been sent forward to keep an eye 
upon the advance of the enemy in this direc- 
tion," he explained to his father, "and to se- 
cure as many recruits as possible." 

Sam's countenance was an education in ex- 
pression; joy, opportunity, determination 
were all in the look he flashed upon Mr. Gray. 

'*It is just my chance," he said. "Father, I 
must go with them!" 

James Gray started as though a bullet had 



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ffirajj dFatm iFoIlt 285 

whizzed past his head: **Not you, old fel- 
low," he said, **I don't want to see them 
shooting at you.** 

Sam changed his position so as to face his 
brother. **I*11 do some shooting myself,** he 
replied, standing so erect that not an inch of 
his diminutive stature was lost. 

James smiled, placing his hand affection- 
ately upon the lad*s shoulder. Mr. Gray cut 
short the discussion. 

**This is no time to decide this matter. 
Sam knows the subject is a very distasteful 
one to me,** he said, imperturbably. ** James, 
we will now go to welcome your friends.** 



II 



The morning seemed an age in coming to 
the impatient boy. He rose early, and hur- 
ried into his clothes. **I*ll go down to the 
stables and take a look at these soldiers* 
horses,** he thpught. Something attracted 
him to the window and he saw James Gray 
half way down the lawn, the morning light 
singling out the trimmings of his military cap 
and burnishing the buttons of his coat. 

**I'll not go to the stables,** Sam instantly 
decided, **this is just the time to talk war.** 

He went to his brother, feeling that his case 



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286 ^tnntsintt Sbkttt^t» 

had been prejudged. **I want to enlist with 
Colonel Hunter and you," he said, without 
other salutation. He looked down whittling 
the end of a switch that he had cut in crossing 
the lawn. 

James turned about suddenly; he had not 
seen Sam coming to speak to him. 

**This is dead wrong, Sam," he said seri- 
ously; **when Ned and George and I are killed 
we want you here to look after the old folks.'" 

Sam was disturbed ; he had never taken this 
view of the matter before ; the whole question 
with him had been whether he could secure 
the paternal blessing, or endure the twinges 
of conscience if he went without it. While he 
wavered, a squad of raw recruits (the neigh- 
borhood boys just enlisted) marched down the 
road to be drilled for the first time. Sam 
wavered no longer ; he would be one of them. 

*' You all are not going to get killed, Brother 
James?" he said, shortening the distance 
between them. 

**I do not know, I hope not, but there is no 
telling. And, * * looking intently into the boy's 
earnest eyes, **if you are thinking of duty, 
you can be of more service here taking care 
of the family." 

Sam interrupted him. **Not a bit of it," he 
cried. **Why, Brother James, when they 



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©rajj dFarm JFoVk 287 

burned Aunt Margaret out, I couldn't do a 
thing but swear till I thought I saw the blue 
streaks claiming me, or father after me for 
weeks; and the fire just went on burning like 
I hadn't said a word.*' 

**But you were a comfort to Aunt Mar- 
garet." 

**No, I wasn't; every time I talked about 
how they happened to set the house afire, and 
tried to comfort her, and told her it was 
because she spoke so proud, and stepped so 
haughty (I tell you the old lady fairly strutted) 
when I told her this, just to show her the 
reason, she cried, and told me I was killing 
her, and she was glad she said what she did. 
So you see I was no comfort to her. ' ' 

**I see," James assented with conviction. 
He started up the walk to the house. **Let 
us go in to breakfast now, Sam; there is no 
hurry about this matter; we will be here, I 
think, some days." 

**You are just putting me off," sullenly, 
** Brother James you must speak to father about 
it." 

**Ihave." 

'*What did he say?" 

**He said — we both said — you must remain 
at home." 

'*I'll not do it. I tell you I will go, and if 



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288 K$nnt%fitt S(tetofie0 

father don't let me," Sam raised his head and 
looked steadily into his brother's eyes, **I'm 
afraid I'll run away — and I'd hate to do that, 
you know." 

They entered the breakfast-room together. 
Mr. Gray was there before them. 

**Send Sam along with us, father," James 
said, **for he is determined to go, and we will 
do the best we can for him." 

Mr. Gray was silent for several moments, 
then he stretched out a trembling hand and 
rested it on the head of his youngest bom. 
**Be it so," he said, **and may the God who is 
in the battle, and the storm, who ruleth the 
destinies of men, bless, protect, and keep 
you." 

**Don't be solemn about it, father," Sam 
cried, rushing upon the old gentleman, and 
giving him a vigorous hug, **It's great! it's 
great!" and he dashed out of the room to 
acquaint Jean and Lucy, and nearly every 
servant on the place with his good fortune. 

**He is the most indulged of my children," 
Mr. Gray said, as they smiled over Sam's 
shouts through the house, **and a noble lad he 
is. He has the freshest, most guileless heart 
I ever knew. Take care of him, colonel, as 
you would your own. And, James, remember I 
put him in your charge." 



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ffitas jFarm jFoIft 289 

Afraid to trust himself further, the old 
gentleman went to his seat at the table, said 
the simple grace, and the meal began. 

**You must come and see me drill, father,*' 
Sam's face was flushed from his recent run. 
**I*ve been practicing a good deal lately down 
in the barn. I take to it just like ducks to 
water." He ate rapidly; he was impatient to 
get through and enlist. 

**I heard Lieutenant Claire ask you to ride,*' 
he said to Jean as they left the breakfast-room, 
**are you going?" 

**Yes." 

He looked down moodily, some of the pleas- 
ure of being a soldier suddenly passed from him. 
'**I don't like him myself." 

**Why?" 

**Pshaw, I don*t know. He's too little 
footed and soft handed to suit me. I bet he*d 
have to put on gloves to load a musket. I*m 
sure he can't shoot one." 

There was a dash of coquetry in the way she 
threw out her hands. 

"You are mistaken. Major Slaughter says 
there are few better soldiers in the service. " 

** Are you going to marry him? He's always 
coming here." 

Jean smiled brilliantly, a lover, and her first, 
was pleasant to her. 



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290 Cntne00ee Sfcetc|e0 

**What makes you ask me, Sam, and how do 
you know he has proposed?" looking superior 
and satisfied. 

He turned away impatiently. 

**I don*t see why you'd mind telling a fel- 
low,** he said. 

**I do not, Sam,'* detaining him, "Lieuten- 
ant Claire does not want me — now there." 
And the young girl went gayly out on the front 
porch. 

***** 

Hunter's camp had the appearance of an 
overgrown village. It swarmed with men, too 
old for active service, who had come from the 
neighboring farms to hear the war news. 
Their horses and mules were hitched to tlie 
trees bordering the road in a manner resemb- 
ling court day at the county seat; and many 
young fellows like Sam were there, eager to be 
sworn in as recruits. 

'*We ought to dub that squad *The Babies,' 
colonel," Major Slaughter said, pointing to 
some new recruits, Sam Gray among them, 
who were being drilled. 

**It seems the coming massacre of the inno- 
cents," was the reply; ** there is not one in 
line over sixteen." 

**I'll sleep all right to-night, colonel," Sam 
passed the two officers on his return from the 



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©tas jFarm jFoIft 291 

drill. **I tell you, the sergeant put us through 
lively just now." 

***** 

It was the early gray of the morning ; Sam 
Gray awakened with a start. Colley, the 
stable boy, was stooping over him. 

**What*s the matter?" he asked, jumping 
up, wide awake in a moment. 

"Dyar's a raid comin', Marse Sam." The 
negro spoke in a thick-tongued whisper, his 
mouth dropping open and his eyes rolling in 
his head. 

**How do you know?" 

*'I hez jest come fum town, an' I seed *em 
myse'f. Dey's startin' out de Pleasan' Spring 
road, an' hit'll fotch 'em heah b'fo* break- 
fas'." 

**Go wake up everybody at the house! Be 
quick, boy, never mind the guard, I'll see 
him." 

Sam dashed out ahead of Colley, said a 
word to the picket, and rushed on to the 
house. '*I'll get father and mother up," he 
said to the stable boy as they ran, ** while you 
go upstairs and tell Colonel Hunter and 
Brother James." 

Suddenly the house was in an uproar, the 
camp broken, and the troops ready to move. 

**My orders are to fall back before the 



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292 ^tnntMH Sbtttt'^tfi 

advancing enemy," Colonel Hunter said to 
Mr. Gray. **I am in no force to resist their 
progress." 

Sam was the busiest one in the regiment, 
getting his knapsack filled, saying good-by to 
everybody, and making Jean and Lucy prom- 
ise to write to him. 

The word was given to fall in. 

**I don't like running away from them," he 
said to his father, **but I'm a soldier, and 
have got to obey. Good-by, take care of 
yourself and mother." 

He started resolutely away, then he ran 
back and kissed his mother again. 

**He could not speak that Vast time," Mrs. 
Gray said to her husband as they stood to- 
gether watching the boyish figure marching 
away, even straining their old eyes trying to 
see the handkerchief flying from a bayonet, 
the second to the right of the last line, as it 
disappeared from view down Marston's hill, 
nearly a mile distant. 

Hunter's regiment had scarcely made good 
its escape when a long blue column could be 
seen approaching Gray Farm. It seemed at 
first as if the brigade would not stop, so 
steadily did it move, but when opposite the 
big gate, **Halt!" passed from officer to ofl&- 
cer down the line and every man came to a 



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ffitag JTarm jFolft 293 

stand-still. The news of a foray had spread 
through the country, and white folk and 
negroes were gathered by the roadside, watch- 
ing the proceedings with a mingling of awe 
and curiosity. 

** Where was the Rebel camp?'* an officer 
asked of the least dazed looking darky he 
saw. 

**Raght thar, boss, whar yo' is now,** was 
the reply. 

**And is that the house where the officers 
were quartered?** 

**Yas, sur.*' 

'*Go,*' turning to an orderly, **and ask if 
we can get breakfast, say there will be six of 
us." 

Through the lawn and back again the man 
rode, kicking up the blue-grass, brushing 
under trees, riding down shrubs, and breaking 
off branches that waved in his way. 

**The old gentleman says,*' the returned sol- 
dier reported, after saluting, **that breakfast 
will be served you if his house is protected." 

**I accept his terms,** the general said, smil- 
ing, and he ordered a guard placed about the 
dwelling. 

**What a pleasant place this is!'* a young 
captain exclaimed as the officers rode together 
to the house, **it positively makes me feel 



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294 Etnn$Mt$ Sbiittt^t^ 

arcadian — hundreds of miles away from home 
dashing over terra incognita after wili-o*-the- 
wisp Rebels that cannot be found. Who 
knows that they may not pounce down upon 
us like the wolf on the fold?" 

**I wish they would," the commanding offi- 
cer said, confidently. 

During the frugal meal Stacy did not lose 
the pleasant impression the place had made 
upon him. 

**I desire to discharge our obligation for the 
breakfast we have just enjoyed," he said to 
Mr. Gray, as they stood together at parting, 
**and to say that we appreciate the courtesy 
shown us." 

**I have never charged for a meal, nor 
refused to give one — I shall not begin with 
you," Mr. Gray said quietly. 

Involuntarily Stacy extended his hand, and 
they parted more as friends than enemies. 

**The granite of that old man's nature," 
Stacy remarked to a brother officer; **he 
would not accept a cent if he were in dire 
need." 

**Yes," was the reply, **and he is instinctive- 
ly courteous, but he holds us in great disfavor. * ' 

The troops moved on bending their course 
to the north, while Hunter had made his way 
southward. 



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©rajj jTarm iFolIt 295 

**They have been nearly two hours passing 
the big gate," Jean Prentiss exclaimed, 
watching the receding blue cloud. Her atten- 
tion was at that moment diverted from the 
army, for a young boy came as fast as the 
mule he rode would carry him to the house. 

**Why, Willie Hilton!'* she cried, *'what is 
the matter!*' 

For answer the boy dug his fists into his 
eyes which were already inflamed with weeping. 

** Mother's mighty sick," he wailed, **the 
doctor can't do nothin* f'r her; she doan't 
know nothin'; I've come f'r Mr. Gray an' 
Mrs. Gray, too." 

It was a serious matter to leave home at 
this time, but the master of Gray Farm did 
not hesitate ; suffering humanity must not be 
neglected. 

**We will come, Willie," he said, kindly, 
patting the boy's shoulder. **Maybe your 
mother is not so bad as she seems. Take 
courage, my man." 

CoUey lost no time in throwing the harness 
upon John and hitching him to the rockaway, 
and Mr. and Mrs. Gray jogged down the road 
after Willie Hilton, never considering that his 
father was known to be a Southern spy and 
would be shot if he fell into the hands of the 
troops that had just left the farm. 



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296 EtnntMtt Sftrtci^wJ 

It was near three o'clock in the afternoon 
and Lucy and Jean were wandering restlessly 
about the house; they did not know how to 
adjust themselves to the changed conditions 
of the household; they missed Sam's cheer- 
fulness, and Mr. Gray's equipoise. 

**Look!" Lucy cried, clutching Jean's arm. 
** Those same soldiers are coming back." 

They went nearer the open window, and 
found it was true that the troops were again 
approaching the Gray Farm. The march was 
steady, as it had been in the early morning, 
and as had been the case then, a halt was 
called when Hunter's camp was reached. 
Then a squad, possibly of fifty men, dashed up 
the lawn to the house. 

*'We are sent," the lieutenant said as 
politely as such information could be commu- 
nicated, **to notify you to leave these prem- 
ises. We have orders to burn the house within 
the hour." 

The young girls rushed wildly in every 
direction, trying to find Mrs. Marston, at last 
discovering her in a darkened room upstairs 
weeping hysterically. 

**I cannot come down, children," she said, 
brokenly, **I*m going to let them burn me up 
in here — Ugh!" She put her hands to her 
ears. The soldiers were shouting the fate of 



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ffitas Jfaxxa jFolft 297 

the house in the back yard. Lucy and Jean 
looked desperately into each other's eyes. 
** Something must be done,** Jean said, rally- 
ing as the necessity of the case pressed itself 
upon her;. **will you come with me, Lucy?" 

They hurried to the front of the house, then 
down the long steps to the lawn. 

** Where is the officer in command?** Jean 
asked of a soldier standing near the entrance. 
There was repressed excitement about her, 
but her eyes were never so piercing, her mouth 
never so firm. ** There, miss,'* the man 
addressed replied. Jean inspired courtesy just 
as one will shield a rare flower from harm, or 
touch daintily fine porcelain. 

Following the directions given, they soon 
stood before the officers. They were congre- 
gated under a giant oak, as far as possible 
removed from the unpleasant business going 
on at the house. Jean fixed her gaze upon 
the oldest-looking member of the party sup- 
posing him to be the one in authority, but 
behind him leaning against the tree was a 
younger man who straightened himself as the 
ladies approached. 

**We have come to ask you not to burn the 
house," Jean said, her sweet voice steady and 
distinct, **it can do you no possible good, and 
it will render us homeless.** 



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293 Etnnt^Btt S&etcfie0 

**I am sorry," the man addressed replied, 
coldly, **but the order will have to be en- 
forced." He stooped forward, picked up an 
acorn, then walked away. 

**You could at least be polite, Robbins," 
the young officer said, soUo voce^ then in his 
natural tones, stepping forward as he spoke: 
**As you say, ladies, this will do us little good, 
indeed, it gives us pain, but the order has come 
to us from the general at the front, and a sol- 
dier's whole duty is obedience.*' 

** Surely there must be some liberty of 
action; soldiers and officers are not mere 
puppets ; circumstances should be considered. 
I would enlist in no cause where it became a 
duty to do a deed like this!*' She threw back 
her head, fearlessly. 

**I think we owe it to ourselves, to our com- 
mander to give the reason," he said. His face 
was hot, his heart was beating at many times 
its normal rate. *'Four of your father's sons 
are in the Rebel army ; he is an intense South- 
ern sympathizer, and even now, we are credi- 
bly informed, he is in consultation with a 
well-known spy. So, it is thought best to 
force him into the Confederate lines; the 
means seem severe, I admit, but you must 
blame the exigencies of war, not the soldiers 
who are its servants." 



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ffitas jFatm jFolit 299 

She let her eyes rest for a moment upon his 
face ; then clasping her hands before her, con- 
tinued. 

**Your information is not correct; he has 
given no facts concerning your movements to 
his people, he is utterly unable to do so ; he 
has not been to the village for nearly two 
years; his sons are in the army, but you, a 
soldier, should not blame him nor them for 
that, nor discredit him that he sympathizes 
with their cause.'* 

She paused for breath. 

**Are you his daughter?" something in her 
manner of speaking of the old gentleman made 
the soldier doubt what at first he assumed as 
a fact. 

**No, but for my dead father's sake he has 
been to me a father. O, sir, spare the house 
for the old man and woman who have hallowed 
it with their lives, and will die if it be de- 
stroyed !" She fell upon her knees, and her voice 
sounded plaintively sweet as she repeated: 
** Spare it for their sake; for all our sake!" 

Richard Stacy looked down into the fair, girl- 
ish face, upon the sun-burnished head, and his 
mind was fixed ; the houseshouldnotbeburned. 

**If I recall the order," he said, **it will be 
for one woman's sake, not for her argument, 
but for her pleasure. Arise, do not kneel to 



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300 EtttntMtt Sftetc^w 

me," he took her hand, assisting her to her 
feet. **The place shall not be disturbed. Say 
as much to the master of the house, and also 
to accept it as a gift from your hands." 

Jean had triumphed, the house was safe, and 
before nightfall the troops were back with the 
main force of the command. 

As the sundown glow overspread the camp, 
and after when the fires blazed merrily, Stacy 
sat apart from his military family working 
with a pencil upon a piece of paper spread out 
before him. He had been considered a good 
draughtsman at the academy, but his best 
efforts failed to please him to-night. 

**What is it, captain?" some one asked, com- 
ing close beside him. 

Holding his arm so as to shadow his work, 
he answered: **I am trying to fix a resem- 
blance, and cannot." 

Finally, when the noise of the camp had 
subsided, and the tramp of the sentry alone 
could be heard, he laid down his pencil, and 
scanned his work critically. 

**That is nearer like," he said aloud, "but 
still it is only a poor shadow." Then he 
wrote beneath it Browning's lines : 

** A face to lose youth for. 
To occupy age with the dream of. 
To meet death with—" 



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©taff jFatm jFolit 30' 



**I think Sam the one to send on this expe- 
dition, colonel/' James Gray said; **he knows 
the country better than I do, and I believe 
could carry out the instructions perfectly." 

Colonel Hunter broke the stick he held in 
his hand before replying, 

**I dare not send him, Gray,** earnestly; 
"you know I desire to accommodate you, but 
Sam is too young to intrust with so important 
a mission.** 

James remained silent, and Hunter con- 
tinued: 

**This expedition requires judgment as well 
as a thorough knowledge of the country. The 
forests are thick, the undergrowth heavy; 
there are creeks to cross, swamps to avoid, 
short cuts to make ; and the march must be 
forced as the success of the attack depends 
upon the reinforcements getting up in time.** 

James walked back and forth before the 
camp door in which Colonel Hunter was 
seated ; he was trying to shake off a sudden 
gloom that had shut out light and hope. 

**If Sam cannot go," he said, coming to a 
standstill before his superior officer, **will it 
be possible to send another man in my place? 
I want to take part in the engagement to- 
morrow.** 



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302 Etnnt^^tt Sfc(tcfif0 

Hunter regarded him curiously, then a light 
broke over his face; he understood. "You 
might see the general," he said, **if he agrees 
I am satisfied, but you know you were selected 
for your knowledge of the country." 

He arose impulsively, and followed James 
to the outside of the tent; then walked with 
him back and forth the length of the officers' 
quarters. 

** There is no use seeing the general," he 
said, finally. **I know on the eve of a battle 
he will not stop to think of another man." 

They shook hands and James said: '^Look 
after Sam for me to-morrow." 

Hunter's regiment was campinjg^off the fine 
of battle. The fires were kept down as much 
as possible, but the soldiers were not asleep ; 
some talked of home, some told jokes, some 
sang softly to themselves, and some wrote 
letters that would be their last. Sam Gray 
polished his gun. **The Babies" had been 
complimented for gallantry on many fields, 
and once when the line wavered, it was young 
Gray who rallied the column by seizing the 
colors and rushing with them to the front. 

**I am looking for Brother James to-night,'* 
Sam remarked to Dick Lowry, at the same time 
peering into the semi-darkness, then he stood 
upon his feet. **Here he is now," he added. 



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ffitaB jFarm jFolit 303 

**I am sent away on special duty and shall 
not return in time for the battle to-morrow," 
James said, plunging into the subject nearest 
his heart, **and I feel uneasy about you, old 
fellow." A tongue of flame shot out from 
the fire's heart lighting Sam*s surprised, ani- 
mated face. **You must not expose yourself 
unnecessarily as you have been doing. There 
is no sense, nor glory in recklessness." 

**I know that. Brother James, but when I 
get to fighting, and the balls whiz, and the 
cannons roar, and the men charge, I feel 
bully; and, somehow, I don't think about get- 
ting shot till afterwards, and then I wonder 
how they missed me. * * 

**Don't do that way to-morrow, Sam; I 
shall be here that evening myself, and we can 
fight together next day." 

**A11 right," Sam said. Then suddenly, 
"Brother James, do you think I've been a 
good soldier?" 

**You certainly tfr^ a good soldier," James 
replied, sharply, not liking Sam's past tense. 

**Well, you must tell father so when you get 
home. I told him I'd be good for something 
before I died. Brother James, I thought at 
first I'd like to be a general, but I reckon 
most people see the good in their own posi- 
tion, and I tell you, a private is some when you 



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304 Cntne00ff £>fcetcfie0 

start into battle. The officers might take it 
out in ordering if the soldiers didn't obey. 
Just like Aunt Margaret, she ordered but they 
wouldn't obey." He laid down his gun and 
laughed. **But then, Aunt Margaret didn't 
have a pretty red head like Jean's. That was 
capital in Jean," he went on, irrelevantly, **I 
tell you it was. I'd 'ave liked to have seen 
her. Lucy couldn't *ave done it (though she's 
pretty, too) no more than Aunt Margaret." 
He picked up his gun, and leaned forward, his 
face against the barrel. **You must go at a 
thing like that with a rush, with a dash — same 
way in battle, most anybody would be whipped 
in these fights, but old Forrest, he just goes 
in like he was going to win anyhow, that's the 
reason he gets there." He stopped, looked 
hard at his gun, rubbing it vigorously. Then 
he began again. **I wonder what they are 
doing at home to-night," a soberer sound was 
in his voice. **I'd like to look in on 'em. 
Sometimes I get to thinking about 'em all, 
and I want to see 'em bad. Night before 
last, just after that sharp skirmish at the 
Hatchie, I went to sleep and dreamed I was 
back at home, and they all came out so glad 
to see me, but mother was crying;" he glanced 
up, apprehensively, **I wonder if there's any- 
thing the matter with mother?" 



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ffitas dfBxm jFolit 305 

James told him he thought not. 

**And I waked up, and looked at the stars 
staring down at me just as cold. Ugh; I 
shivered. I got to thinking what if I never 
got back any more, and of all the mean things 
I did when I was there, then I leaned over and 
shook up Dick Lowry, and asked him if he 
believed in dreams. He said, *No,' and I was 
all right again.** 

Changing the subject suddenly, **How do 
you like this gun? She's bright now, aint 
she? I was ashamed of her to-day, but last 
night I was so tired I couldn't rub her up. 
I'm growing some, don't you think?" stand- 
ing on his feet and stretching himself to 
his full height, **I measured five feet six this 
morning; that's getting up, aint it? I'd like 
to be six feet before I get home — they were 
always calling me a runt." 

James Gray listened with a pain at his heart. 
Sam was measuring everything by what he 
imagined they thought of it at home. He rose 
to his feet, the time had come for him to leave. 

* * Good-by, Sam, * * he said, * * do not forget what 
I've told you; take care of yourself, my boy." 

•*I'll do it," Sam replied, stoutly, **and you 
do the same." 

James looked down into the brave young 
face, and his father's charge came to him, and 



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3o6 EtnntssiH Sitetcfie0 

as Judah of old felt for Benjamin so felt he 
for this youngest son of his own home. 

**I think so much of you, Sam, I cannot 
bear the thought of anything happening to 
you. * ' The words seemed wrung from him. 
He put his arms about the boy and in a mo- 
ment hurried from the smouldering campfire 
into the darkness. 

« « * « « 

The morning dawned as fair a day as ever 
smiled on horror, and the conflict announced 
from iron-throated cannon began with the sun. 
The battle raged all along the line, the stout 
hearts confronting each other holding their 
lives as something it were unmanly to protect. 
Regiments were rushed into action, charges 
made and received, the wounded were carried 
to the rear, the dead lay where they fell upon 
the field, and at last the sun went down red as 
though dyed with the blood of life. 

Then came the counting of the cost. 
Hunter's regiment was drawn up for inspec- 
tion and roll call ; the ranks were thin, name 
after name was passed unanswered. 

**Sam Gray!** the sergeant called. 

A tremor ran through the squad called **The 
Babies, * * and Dick Lowry answered, hoarsely : 

**Shot on the breastworks in the last 
charge.** 



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ffiraB i^atm J^olft 307 

II 

JEAN 

The season at the National Capital was at 
its height; the whir of it was in the air; the 
social question would, if possible, absorb the 
political one. K Street was crowded, for it 
was "Cabinet Day,** and two members of the 
President's official family resided there within 
a square of each other. Carriages had been 
blocking these doorways for hours, the coach- 
men contending for place, at the same time 
keeping a firm rein on spirited horses eager to 
break away into a blood-stirring run. Con- 
tinually, well-dressed women ascended and 
descended the steps. 

** There is a mental question about this 
theory of enjoyment,** Richard Stacy ex- 
claimed, indicating with his cane slightly 
lifted the stream of callers pouring into the 
secretary's house. 

**The mind has nothing to do with it," 
Johnston replied; **it is habit, or disease, and 
there is absolutely no cure for social earnest- 
ness.** 

Stacy laughed. "You think, then, it should 
be scientifically considered!" 

The two men had walked out the street 



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3o8 €tnn$Mtt Skrtcfiw 

together, and stood in front of Johnston's 
home watching the scene ; the one was amused, 
the other looked upon it as a matter of course. 

**Come into the house/* Johnston said, tak- 
ing Stacy's arm and conducting him up the 
steps. **My mother and I will make a health- 
ful contrast, we are as quiet as — comparison 
fails me, but you will know the situation soon 
enough." 

They left their top coats in the hall, and 
went directly to the library. The low book- 
cases lining the walls were filled with hand- 
some volumes, some of them rare and difficult 
to obtain ; a bronze head of Minerva held the 
letters and papers on the desk in place, and 
late magazines and journals, scientific and 
political, covered the center table. 

**This is a pleasant den," Stacy declared, 
dropping into an easy chair and appropriating 
a footstool. * * No wonder your editorials bring 
you fame," glancing at the busts of statesmen 
standing guard over the books, '*you have 
your inspiration here!" 

Johnston was amused. 

**But my valiant effusions are launched from 
the office down town." 

** Nonsense, I don't care where they are 
committed to ink and paper, they are thought 
out in this room, I believe in this chair!" 



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ffitau jFarm jFolft 309 

Harvey Johnston had been looking for a box 
of cigars. **I thought these could not be 
lost," he said, placing the Havanas before his 
guest. **Try them, they were sent me by one 
who is a judge of the weed.*' 

It was growing dark, the fire had become 
the significant light in the room. Clouds of 
smoke curled lazily above their heads. 

•*I wish you would not leave the city to- 
night,** Harvey said, **I*m anxious for you to 
go to the Warren *s with me, they made quite 
a point of your coming.** 

At first Stacy, deep in his chair, seemed too 
content to break the charm by speaking; then 
leaning forward he drawled: **It is out of the 
question, old man; I claim a social furlough 
when away from home.** 

Harvey replied promptly, **You don*t de- 
serve one, the young military genius should 
always be where the battle waxes warmest!** 

Stacy fell back among the cushions ; he felt 
in no mood to argue the question; he was 
thinking of the stirring days when he, a young 
officer, won his first laurels ; a fiash-light pic- 
ture, seen that morning, had kept his mind 
upon those times ever since. 

Strangely enough Johnston*s next remark 
chimed with his thought. 

••Tell me, Dick,** the editor, who held 



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31 o EtnntMtt Sftrtcftw 

not to silence, said, **were you ever hard 
hit?" 

**If I understand you — no." 

But the remark roused him to conversation. 
** Harvey," he said, **do you remember a pic- 
ture that hangs in my apartments at home, to 
the right as you enter the front room?" 

Johnston nodded, a smile of genuine amuse- 
ment overspreading his face. 

**It is very beautiful." 

'*Yes," enthusiastically, **and it has some* 
thing beside beauty; it is soul. The whole is 
copied from a rough drawing made during the 
war." He left his seat and stood with his 
back to the fire. ** Harvey, to-day I thought 
I saw that face again; it was somewhat 
older — she was almost a child then — very much 
sadder. I was going to the navy department 
to see McNairy, and passed her as I crossed 
the avenue from LaFayette Square." 

The servant came in to light the gas ; many 
carriages rolled by outside; the secretary's 
home had for the time lost its significance as 
a point of advantage. Harvey watched his 
friend with increasing interest. **I shall in- 
duce you to remain over another day," he 
decided, mentally, '*upon the chance of this 
impossible find, and take you to the Warren's 
to-night." 



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ffiras jFarm jFolft 311 

When Stacy was presented to Miss Clarke 
of Tennessee that evening, he became con- 
scious of a sudden elation. 

**0f Tennessee!" he repeated, "I have 
visited your state myself. ** 

Notes of low music filled the house, palms 
waved gracefully from niches and archways, 
brilliant women, and what is better, beautiful 
ones, moved from room to roomj but the sol- 
dier's eyes were single to Miss Clarke. 

*'I knew a family that lived twenty or thirty 
miles from Memphis,'* he said with a direct- 
ness that had made his record as a soldier, 
but added nothing to his attraction socially. 
**Do you know much of that part of the 
state?" 

** Memphis is my home," she replied, feel- 
ing as though she were being put through the 
catechism. 

**The name is Gray," he pursued, never 
considering how improbable it was that her 
acquaintance should extend to the whole dis- 
trict. **The old gentleman had three sons in 
the Confederate army," at a loss to explain 
his interest, **but on one occasion he treated 
us hospitably, and afterward when there was 
an order to burn his house we were able to 
prevent its execution." 

Isabel Clarke smiled brilliantly. 



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312 ^tnntMtt Sbttttfft^ 

*'I know the Grays," she said, **and have 
heard of the time when Jean Prentiss pleaded 
so eloquently with the handsome young officer 
that he declared Gray Farm should not be 
destroyed, and," glancing up into Stacy's 
face, *'I conclude you are the man!" 

He bowed assent to her conclusion, and 
then remained silent, for into the waltz being 
played had come for him the cadence of a 
voice that had impressed him more than sound 
of guns or shout of victory. He waited until 
the last note had trembled away before he 
said: **Tell me of this family — of Miss Pren- 
tiss?" He had not before known Jean's name. 

"The old folk are dead, two of the sons 
were killed during the war, Lucy Gray is mar- 
ried, the family is scattered, and the farm 
sold." 

**And Miss Prentiss?" 

Miss Clarke was beginning to appreciate his 
interest. 

*'Jean is here in Washington; she has the 
position of governess in the family of a mem- 
ber of Congress from our state. I saw her 
yesterday," her voice became gentler, **she 
seems fairly content, but we who love proud, 
high-spirited Jean know that life has brought 
many disappointments to her." 

** Would you object to giving me her ad- 



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©tap dTarm Jfolk 3^3 

dress?" He was too much interested to con- 
sider the request unusual. 

She gave it to him, and as he left the enter- 
tainment he declared that ** sometimes it is a 
good thing to follow the lead of an editor." 
***** 

** There must be some mistake, I know no 
one of this name," Jean Prentiss said, reading 
Richard Stacy's name from his card, *'are you 
sure he called for me, James?" 

**I am sure. Miss Prentiss," the servant 
replied, **the gentleman was very particular 
about the name." 

Jean stood irresolute, a hand resting upon 
little Mary Mason's head, the **far-ofif" look 
in her eyes that came into them when she was 
perplexed or troubled — somehow it had a trick 
of staying there of late. 

Mrs. Mason glanced up from her New York 
paper and hearing Stacy's name became in-- 
stantly interested. 

**My dear, go down immediately," she ex- 
claimed, in a flurry of imaginings; ** Colonel 
Stacy has made no mistake," smiling sympa- 
thetically, and smoothing the lace falling away 
from the young woman's throat. 

Below in the library Stacy was having a bad 
half hour. **0f course it is not she," he mut- 
tered, standing before Carl Gutherz's **Awak- 



Digitized by CjOOQ IC 



3H Cenne00ee Sbtttt^t» 

ening of Spring,** and trying and failing to fix 
his attention upon the painting ; *' this is another 
evidence of my Quixotism. Why can I not be 
like other people?** 

It was not a sound but an impression that 
made him turn, a fair woman stood in the 
doorway for a moment, then moved slowly 
across the space dividing them. The eyes he 
well remembered were looking earnestly into 
his own. 

**We have met before. Miss Prentiss,*' he 
said, bowing low before her, '* though the time 
has escaped you. I should have known you 
anywhere, but,** breaking away, **to be re- 
membered is possibly a power you possess to 
your annoyance!** 

*' Surely not in this instance." She lifted 
her face frankly, giving emphasis to her words. 
"Your features come back to me, your voice, 
I have heard it in the long ago — ** Her eyes 
sought his inquiringly. ** Where did I meet 
you?'* 

'*At Gray Farm during the war,*' he an- 
swered, and waited for the efifect of his words. 

A light that was a transformation passed 
over her face. 

/ **I remember,** she said, **it was you who 
saved the dear old home!** She seemed 
almost a child again, and it took small sweep 



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efras dTarm jTolk 3^5 

of the imagination for him to live over again 
the scene when before a company of soldiers 
a young girl argued and won her case. 

**You did nothing better during the war 
than saving the old home," she said, after 
they had discussed many things. **I believe I 
will reframe my sentence and declare it was 
the best thing you did." 

**Please let it remain as it is," he protested, 
**or I am afraid it will be metamorphosed 
into— it was the only thing you can claim 
credit for during the time!" 

Jean's fine eyes were full of merriment. 
**We are not requiring perfect candor, you 
know." 

**I acknowledge," he replied, *'that it was 
the most remarkable experience of my life. 
Do you know, Miss Prentiss," leaning for- 
ward and regarding her quizzically, *'I have 
not had a young lady on her knees to me 
since." 

Her face grew crimson. ''Should not once 
in a lifetime be enough?" she said. 

Then she spoke to him with much feelingf of 
her guardian's family, of the sorrow of the 
old people at the loss of their sons, of their 
grief at the downfall of the Confederacy. 
"The death of the youngest son touched them 
most, they could never utter his name except 



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3i6 Centte00ee SbMt'^tsi 

through quivering lips. Sam was a brave boy 
soldier," her voice became husky, **who went 
away exultant, and was brought home to us 
very silent.** 

***** 

The soldier walked slowly down the avenue, 
stopping for a moment when he reached the 
square to look at the careering statue of Jack- 
son. **This man was a Tennessean,** he 
thought, **so was Farragut, so was their own 
Forrest — fighters, every one of them!" He 
reached Willard's, and going directly to the 
desk sent an order and sat down to wait. 
Several men spoke to him, but he was in no 
mood for conversation. The afternoon was 
clear, the ground frozen, he was going a short 
distance into the country. When his horse 
came, he rode away at a rapid gait; he noted 
every object as he passed along, the ragged 
urchin almost under his horse's feet, and Mrs. 
Straw, who daily carried her basket of flowers 
for sale, no matter what was the season. He 
met soldiers on the road coming to town, and 
a carriage, evidently of sight-seers. At last he 
reached the gates of Arlington. Colonel 
Stacy was admitted without delay, and guided 
his course to a certain plat in the burying 
ground of the Nation's dead. Involuntarily 
he sighed; there was a windswept, desolate- 



Digitized by CjOOQIC 



©rag dTatm jTolit 3^7 

ness about the place, in summer so beautiful, 
that impressed him as never before. From 
his seat in the saddle he looked down upon 
the mound of earth at his feet. 

"She was telling me of the dead on her 
side, Tom," unconsciously speaking aloud, 
**so I thought I would come out here to see 
you. No one fought any better, no one was 
ever braver, and here you lie on the eternal 
camping ground.** 

He removed his hat, the day was cold, the 
breath came in frozen vapor from his horse*s 
nostrils, but accustomed to the saddle, and 
rough weather, he scarcely realized the ex- 
tremely low temperature. 

The horse champed his bit, pawing the 
frozen ground, Stacy heeded him not. One 
of the keepers of the grounds came over, and 
touching his hat, spoke to the visitor. 

"You have been out here so long in the cold, 
I've come to see if I can be of assistance to 
you,'* the man said, pushing the collar of his 
great-coat away from his head and throat as 
he spoke. "Won't you come in and thaw a 
bit, colonel?** 

"No, I'm not cold,** facing about, abruptly 
brought to the present. "Why this is Steb- 
bins,** bending to shake the soldier*s hand, 
"I did not know that you were here. I come 



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31 8 €tnntfifitt Sftetcfiw 

now and then to see this," pointing to the 
grave. "You remember my brother Tom, 
shot at Seven Pines." He straightened him- 
self in the saddle, *'Good-by, Stebbins,*' he 
said, **and good luck to you," and putting 
spurs to his horse, he went in a swift trot to 
town. 

Johnston was completing his toilet for dinner 
when Stacy unceremoniously entered the room. 

** Where have you been?" the host de- 
manded, tying his cravat. 

Stacy placed himself directly behind him, 
and both faces were reflected in the mirror. 

*'I have seen her," the army oflScer said, 
**Miss Clarke's friend is she." 

'*Who is what!" Harvey spun around sud- 
denly, the brushes held aloft in his hands. 

Stacy made himself clear, laying off the 
words slowly as though talking to one dull of 
comprehension. 

**Your picture!" Harvey exclaimed, **tell 
me everything!" 

But his companion was in no mood for 
levity. '*I have found her all I thought or 
hoped her to be," he declared, solemnly. 
That night on the train going to New York he 
repeated more than once the same words, ** All 
I thought or hoped her to be." 



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©ftap dTarm jTolk 319 

''Richard will be here in ten minutes,** 
Johnston said, glancing from the telegram 
lying beside his plate to the clock ticking 
blithely on the mantel. 

His mother laughed. "That bit of infor- 
mation has become an old story, Harvey," she 
said, "this affair of Richard's reminds me of 
my youth, when your father came a wooing." 
The old lady forgot to put the cream in her 
coffee, and let her roll cool unbuttered. 

"The dear fellow is in love," determinately 
keeping the conversation on Stacy. He was 
used to his mother's scraps of personal his- 
tory, and sometimes, though he was a dutiful 
son, grew weary of them. "The spring has 
come, mother," he said, pointing to the trees 
beginning to bud, and the birds flying like ar- 
rows through their limbs and hiding themselves 
in the evergreens beyond. "This is the season 
for lovers. Ah, here he is now, just as we were 
fitting the season to his happy condition!" 

Stacy was in buoyant spirits, Harvey said 
he had never seen him younger or handsomer. 

"As a rejuvenator, love is a success," he 
asserted in an audible aside to his mother. 
* * * « * 

"I have thought much of the old times dur- 
ing your absence," Jean said to Stacy, "of my 
people and the happy days at the farm." 



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320 €tnntMtt 5ttetcJ^e0 

She was beautiful; love, happiness had 
come to her; the bewitching eyes sparkled 
as sunlight on a jewel, and her laugh was as 
spontaneous and free as when she, Lucy, and 
Sam made the brightness of the Gray house- 
hold. 

'*I have been retrospecting, too," he said, 
meeting her gaze in full sympathy, **and there 
is one scene that will never leave my memory. ' ' 
He drew a yellowed paper from his pocket, 
**I have tried to fix it here,** placing the 
drawing before her. **This has been my talis- 
man since I first saw you.'* 

Their heads were very close together as 
they bent over his sketch, and saw a kneeling 
figure, a girlish face uplifted as in supplica- 
tion, illumined by great wondrous eyes that 
looked an appeal, that carried a demand. 
Below she read the lines transcribed there 
long ago, 

" A face to lose youth for, 
To occupy age with the dream of, 
To meet death with—" 

**I could not do that now,** she said, gazing 
sadly at her other self, **it is the audacity of 
youth that has confronted no failure.'* 

That night she wrote to Lucy Gray Claire, 
*'I am coming to your home to be married; 
all the happiness of my life except this last 



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<fcra|? dTarm jFolft 321 

has been shared with your people, and I want 
you now. Have Brothers James, and Ned 
Gray there, and in spirit I know the good 
father, mother, and dear Sam will be present, 
too." As a postscript she added, ** Colonel 
Stacy says Isabel Clarke must be one of the 
wedding guests.** 



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IMPORTANT BOOKS ?5bI?c^J^?iI>n 

FICTION 

THE CARDINAL'S MUSKETEER. By M. Imlay 
Taylor, author of <<On the Red Staircase/* <<An Imperial 
Lover," «* A Yankee Volunteer,** "The Cobbler of Nimcs,** 
etc. i2mo, $1.25. 

A rousing tale of adventure and love, whose scenes are laid in 
France in the time of Richelieu. 
"From opening to close a strong interest imbues the pages. It is 
a tale of adventure told with spirit. A charming love-current 
runs through it, ending as it should. We commend it as a story, 
bright and clean, well written, and thoroughly engaging." — 
The Indeptndtnt, 

THE HOUSE OF THE WIZARD. By M. Imlay 
Taylor. i2mo, ^1.25. 

'*The story is a strong, well 'Studied, and striking reproduction of 
the social and political conditions of the age of_ King Henry 
VIII. As a romance it is swift, overflowing with life and action. 
In re»9ect to the dramatic vividness and force of her picture. 
Miss Taylor shows the unerring instinct of the bom story* 
XtWet:''— Chicago ChronicU, 

THE DREAD AND FEAR OF KINGS. By J. 

Breckenridge Ellis. i2mo, $1.25. 

*'So vivid are this novelist's colors, so real his speech and actions, 
so superior his arrangement of plot and counterplot, that hardly 
another touch is needed to make the literary relationship of 
*The Dread and Fear of Rings* to actual Roman history com- 
pletely satisfactory."— TVzr Boston Times, 

OH, WHAT A PLAGUE IS LOVE I By Katharine 

Tynan, author of «<The Dear Irish Girl,** «*The Handsome 

Brandons,** etc. i2mo, 75 cents. 

In this bright little story the author has told in a most entertain* 
ing way how a too keen susceptibility to the tender passion on 
the part of a gallant though somewhat elderly gentleman is a 
constant source of anxiety to his grown-up children, who are 
devotedly attached to him. 

For sale by booksellers generally, or will be sent, postpaid, 
on receipt of price, by the publishers, 

A, C, McCLURG & CO. 

CHICAGO 



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TRAVEL AND HISTORY 

A WORLD PILGRIMAGE. By John Henry Barrows, 
O. D. Crown 8vo. Illustrated^ ^2.00. 

"Although much^ of the field of the book has hoea covered a 
hundred times, it nevertheless is thoroughly readable. All in 
alt it is one of the best books of travel which we have seen." 

SPAIN IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 

By Elizabeth Wormeley Latimer. Crown 8vo. lllus., #2.50. 

"With regret one notes that this is to be the last of Mrs. Lati- 
mer's excellent series of Nineteenth •Century Histories. We 
have come to look upon Mrs. Latimer as quite the most delist- 
ful purveyor of historical gossip to be found anywhere.'*— TAr 
Chicago Tribune, 

MY SCRAP-BOOK OF THE FRENCH 
REVOLUTION. By EUxabeth Wormeley Latimer. 
Crown 8yo. Illustrated, $2.50. 

"The book is filled with exciting and thrilling reminiscences 
of those stirring times, generally from the accounts of eye- 
witnesses, sometimes from their own pens, others translated 
from the accounts of French sufferers and actors in the great 
^t9mz,**—Phiiadeiphia Press, 

McLOUGHLIN AND OLD OREGON; A 

Chronicle. By Eva Emery Dye. izmo. Gilt Top, with 
frontispiece. ^1.50. 

A graphic account of the movement Aat added Oregon to out 
possessions. 
"Mrs. Dye had rare material at hand, and has used it with great 
skill and effectiveness. She has the historian's gift for Imng- 
ing out significant events, the novelist's gift for vivifying 
chatacters.''--rA4? Buffalo Express, 



For tale by bookaellers generally, or will be sent, postpaid, 
on receipt of price, by the publishers, 

A. C McCLURG & CO. 

CHICAGO 



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ESSAYS, BELLES-LETTRES, ETC. 

A GROUP OF FRENCH CRITICS. By Mary 

Fisher, iimo, $1.25. 

"Americao resdeis will be elad to read the able little Tolume and 
learn there is vet a saving quality in French literature which 
they before had not known?* — Inttr Ocean^ Chicago, 

CHRISTIANITY, THE WORLD-RELIGION. 

By John Henry Barrows, O. O. |t i . 50. 

*'Dr. Barrows has given not only to India, but to the thinking 
people of the world, a book of great merit and value.'*— /Vf^/tf 
Opinion, 

NATIONAL EPICS. By Kate Milner Rabb. 1 2mo, %\ . 50. 

"The compiler has performed a useful service in making acces- 
sible in the compass of a single volume so much material for 
the study of these nc^le poems." — The Review of Reviews, 

JOURNAL OF COUNTESS FRANCOISE KRA- 

SINSKA IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY. 

Translated by Kasimir Dziekonska. With portrait and other 
illustrations. i6mo, gilt top, deckle edges. #1.25. 

'*Not for a long time have we seen so entertaining a book as this. 
It gives, with charming: natvet^, a picturesque account of high 
life in Poland at the middle of the last century— a life still ner- 
vaded by feudal traditions and customs.**— /Atf Nettion, N, Y, 

EATING AND DRINKING. By Dr. Albert H. Hoy. 

i2mo, ^1.50. 

"I would exhort all people who want to live long, and be really 
happy while they do live, to buy or borrow a copy of Aat price- 
less book and study it up as soon as possible."— Prtf/*. Albert 
H, Walher^ in the Hartford Times, 

OPPORTUNITY, AND OTHER ESSAYS AND 
ADDRESSES. By the Rt. Rev. J. L. Spalding, Bishop 
of Peoria, izmo, 228 pages, $1.00. 

"Bishop SpaMing ma;r be said to be Browning and Whitman 
translated into beautiful prose. In the essays which make up 
this little volume there is the same power to enkindle aspiration 
so marked in these poets. * Opportunity ' is a volume such as 
one might profitably catch up from one*s reading- table dozens 
of times in a week.^* — The Boston Budget, 

For sale by booksellert generally, or will be sent, postpaid, 
on receipt of price, by the publishers, 

A. C. McCLURG & CO., CHICAGO 



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